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Ali Kirk
Ali Kirk, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 244
Experience:  14+ years experience in divorce, custody, visitation, child support and paternity matters.
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My son was discriminated by a little league coach.What can

Resolved Question:

My son was discriminated by a little league coach.What can I do?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Ali Kirk replied 8 years ago.
Hello, and thank you for your question.

I am happy to try to assist you, but I would like some additional information. When you say he was discriminated against, what exactly happened? Can you elaborate a little more?

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Coach told my son that he had big ears and he didnt need a glove to catch the ball because he had big ears.Also, at football season my son scored a touchdown and he called him a son wears a hat and wont take off the hat. I went to the board and went to see if he can be removed from coaching staff and they only suspened him for 2 days. Now my son wont go back to play little leauge because they wont get rid of him.
Expert:  Ali Kirk replied 8 years ago.
Thank you for your quick reply. Due to site limitations, I can't always see all the information you entered, so it wasn't until just now I saw what you had posted. I am so sorry you and your son are going through this.

Unfortunately, I think you are without any remedy in this situation. The league is most likely a private entity or organization, and as such, is free to make their own rules with very few limitations (so, they could, for instance, decide one day that every child with blue eyes can no longer play sports, and that would be allowed). Constitutional protections, with few limitations, do not apply to private companies or organizations. Therefore, even if you had a case based on on race discrimination or religious discrimination, etc., it would probably not be successful.

At best, XXXXX XXXXX possibly be a case of negligent infliction of emotional distress (NIED). Emotional distress is typically defined as mental distress, mental suffering or mental anguish. It includes all highly unpleasant mental reactions, such as fright, nervousness, grief, anxiety, worry, mortification, shock, humiliation and indignity, as well as physical pain. It can be hard to prove, because what one person considers humiliation, another might consider gentle teasing.

The elements of a prima facie case for the tort of intentional infliction of emotional distress are:

(1) outrageous conduct by the defendant;

(2) the defendant's intention of causing or reckless disregard of the probability of causing emotional distress;

(3) the plaintiff's suffering severe or extreme emotional distress; and

(4) actual and proximate cause of the emotional distress by the defendant's outrageous conduct.

In other words, you would have to prove that the coach's statement's to your son caused him "severe or extreme" emotional distress and that he suffered damages as a result. Not wanting to play little league isn't really damages. If, on the other hand, he was so traumatized that he ended up in a doctor's care, that might be damages. My opinion is that you would have a difficult time getting this in front of a judge.
You could always discuss the matter further with a local personal injury lawyer.
Generally, the consultations are free, and if they do take the case, it's usually on a contingency basis, meaning you don't pay anything unless the lawyer recovers.

However, all that being said, this so-called "coach" is anything but, and I certainly don't think he needs to be around children with that attitude. Little league is supposed to be about fun, about learning new skills, making friends. The last person who should be making awful, hateful remarks is the person kids so often look to as a role model. I would talk to the board again and insist that a) this coach is terminated immediately and not re-hired (unless he were to undergo some sensitivity training, perhaps); b)any fees that you paid for your son to play for the year be immediately refunded, c)your son be moved to a different team if the coach cannot be terminated and a replacement found immediately. I'd make these demands in a formal letter, in writing to the board, as well, and send it certified mail, so there's no question that they got it, or that you mean business.

Good luck to you. If you have any additional questions, please press the reply button, and I will be happy to assist you further.

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