A high school student at the Canton City School District in Ohio is suing for $10 million dollars for being forced to eat pizza.
The high school student is suing his former football coaches for allegedly forcing him to eat an entire pepperoni pizza as punishment for missing practice, according to the lawsuit that was filed last week at the Ohio Northern District Court. The lawsuit includes not only his coaches, but the Canton City School District, and the city’s board of education as well.
The student, referred to only as “Junior” in the court filings, was a senior expected to graduate in 2022. However, the student says that he was “forced to enroll in a different school and football program” due to concerns for his safety.
‘Junior’ Sues Coaches, School For $10M Dollars For Being Forced To Eat Pizza
The incident happened in May 2021 when his coaches announced an off-season workout that all players were mandated to attend. However, Junior did not attend due to a “shoulder injury sustained while lifting weights,” according to the lawsuit.
At the next mandatory workout, Junior’s coaches told him that he was going to be “disciplined” for missing the first workout. According to the lawsuit, the coaches then set up a “lone chair that was placed in the middle of the gymnasium floor” and “gave Junior a large pork pepperoni pizza and ordered Junior to eat the entire pizza as punishment for failing to appear” at the first workout.
The student, who converted to Hebrew Israelism when he was 10, is not allowed to eat pork-based products because it goes against his religious beliefs.
During this ordeal, his teammates were also being punished as well. According to the lawsuit, they were told to keep running around the gym and were not allowed to stop running until Junior finished the entire pizza.
‘Junior’ Finally Eats The Pizza, Faces Further Punishment
Junior says that he initially kicked the box away from him and that this action was captured on a video camera. However, the coaches brought it back and forced him to either eat it or be kicked off the team, according to the lawsuit. Junior says he protested a “minimum of ten times” and was given the option of removing the pepperoni from the pizza before eating it.
However, this still would have violated Junior’s beliefs, as the pizza was still soaked in the bacon grease.
According to the lawsuit, “Junior, against his religious beliefs, was forced to eat the pork grease pizza. Immediately after, Junior was punished further and was forced to run up and down the football field.”
The lawsuit claims that the coaches had “previously and routinely punished their football players by requiring them to eat miscellaneous products for breaking rules and regulations of the football team.”
Although the coaches were fired in June, the student is seeking $10 million dollars, alleging that Junior “became the subject of threats and ridicule from his teammates and the general public” after this incident. He is also seeking damages for being “forced to enroll in a different school and football program” out of concern for his safety.