Basketball

FAMU sued by former players for sexual orientation discrimination

The first couple of months of 2019 have brought several unfortunate headlines for FAMU.

Florida A&M’s athletic department just keeps making headlines, but not for the reasons it would like.

Five former FAMU women’s basketball players are suing the school for sexual orientation discrimination dating back to 2015, according to WTXL.

Two of the ex-Rattlers are gay while the other three claim they were harassed for their friendship with them and mistreated by former basketball coach LeDawn Gibson. The lawsuit claims Gibson’s “strong opposition” to gays resulted in bullying, harassment, ridicule and ultimately led to the stripping of scholarships for the student-athletes.

Gibson was fired following the 2018-19 season.

The plaintiffs are suing the FAMU board of trustees on five counts including gender and sexual orientation discrimination, negligence, and breach of contract.

The lawsuit is the latest in a web of less-than-stellar stories for Florida’s only public HBCU. Earlier this year the men’s basketball team was ruled ineligible for the post season.

Associate Director Vaughn Wilson announced his resignation last month with claims of an unhealthy work load due to a reduction in the size of the athletic department.

Track coach Darlene Moore resigned from her position earlier this month and complained about lack of support from the adminstration.

“Honestly, I have fought a long hard battle to get us the basics such as shoes, uniform and wind suits,” she said in a statement. “I feel that I have not nor have my teams received the support that I wanted to receive from my administration. I am truly sorry.”

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