By Advocate.com Editors
Originally published on Advocate.com August 07 2003 11:00 PM ET
A children's football league in suburban Akron, Ohio, on Sunday announced it would bar an HIV-positive man from serving as an assistant coach after the league director received anonymous telephone calls from individuals claiming to be parents worried that their children were being exposed to the virus, the Akron Beacon Journal reports. The calls prompted director Dan Gable to call a board meeting of the Ellet Suburban Football League on Sunday, and the members voted to bar Akron firefighter Stephen Derrig from coaching to prevent him from coming into contact with the children of the concerned parents.
Margo Erme of the Akron Health Department attended the board meeting at Derrig's request and told the members that serving as an assistant football coach would in no way expose any of the players to HIV. Angry reactions by a number of parents who support Derrig and feel the board made an ill-informed discriminatory decision led several of the board members to resign their positions on Monday, but Derrig's ban appears to remain in place. There was no report as to whether Derrig planned to seek legal action against the board for HIV-related discrimination.