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Student Sues, Alleges Racial Slurs at Root of Suspension

Andy Berg

A South Florida high school lacrosse player’s family is suing the state’s high school athletic board after he was banned from the sport in the wake of two incidents on the field.

Luther Johnson, a student at Christopher Columbus High School, was suspended from lacrosse for what was determined to be unsportsmanlike play during a game between his school and Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

The second incident happened two weeks later during a game against Belen Jesuit Preparatory School, and Johnson sidelined from all sports for the rest of the year.

The decision to suspend Johnson was upheld by the Florida High School Athletics Association.

Johnson’s lawyer, Rawsi Williams, told Local 10 that it is in the public interest to get Johnson, who says he could lose a scholarship because of the ban, back out on the field.

"Luther was playing against Marjory Stoneman Douglas (High School). He is not only the only African American kid on his team. There, he was the only black kid in the whole game," Williams said. 

Johnson alleges that players from Stoneman Douglas used racially-charged language and made death threats in the moments leading up to the plays in question. 

The suit seeks to have the season-long football and half-season-long lacrosse ban lifted, allowing Johnson to play. 

"I want to see myself step back on the field," Johnson said. "But for my mother, it's a hard time, because she has to sit here and go through all this too."

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