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Youth football league reverses decision — boy who quit team can now wear pink gloves in support of his mom

Sep 12, 2012, 3:11 PM EDT

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Pink Gloves Football AP

Controversy reigned in Egg Harbor City, N.J. recently as a player on a youth football team was banned from wearing pink gloves during a game. Julian Connerton, 12, played for the Egg Harbor Crusaders, a team made up of seventh- and eight-graders. During Saturday’s opening game in Ocean City, Egg Harbor coach Paul Burgan noticed the gloves and told Julian to take them off, as they weren’t the team colors.

Julian was wearing the gloves in support of his mother, who has breast cancer. So rather than play without the gloves, he quit the team — leaving the game at halftime.

His stand drew plenty of publicity, and now the coach has said that Julian can return to the team and wear the gloves. The two met for about an hour on Tuesday night.

Burgan, of Mullica Township, said he oversees about 100 players on the team and he had a lot of things to deal with before the start of the opening game.

“He did something 100 percent right. He stood up for his mother. That’s what you want every kid to do,” Burgan said. “In the end you don’t want to hurt any one of the kids’ feelings. At the time I didn’t know I hurt his feelings. I feel bad. You don’t want this to happen to anyone’s mother.”

Julian said after the meeting he felt much better and all the stress he had been dealing with in the past few days had disappeared. He now looks forward to playing Saturday’s home opener against Somers Point.

“I feel better. Everything is gone. My throat and stomach is clear. Everything,” he said. “I just want to play football again. I miss it.”

Final note: Julian’s mom, Mayra Cruz-Connerton, says she actually hates the color pink.

H/T SportsbyBrooks.