Ohio Children's Football League Bars HIV-Positive Man From Coaching Position
August 7, 2003
The Ellet Suburban Football League, a children's football league outside of Akron, Ohio, on Sunday announced that it would bar an HIV-positive man from being an assistant coach, the Akron Beacon Journal reports. Dan Gable, director of the league -- which is overseen by the Ellet Amateur Athletic Association -- said that he had received anonymous telephone calls from people identifying themselves as parents of children in the league saying that they were concerned about former Akron firefighter Stephen Derrig coming into contact with their children on the field because of his HIV-positive status. The calls prompted Gable to call a board meeting to discuss the issue, and the volunteer members on Sunday voted to prohibit Derrig from coaching. Dr. Margo Erme of the Akron Health Department attended the meeting at Derrig's request and said that "occupations such as coaching present no risk for AIDS transmission," the Beacon Journal reports. Following a "raucous" meeting on Monday night, almost all of the members of the league's board announced their resignations after "parent after parent" said the board was making an "ill-informed" decision. Currently, Derrig's position with the team remains "in question," the Beacon Journal reports (Wallace, Akron Beacon Journal, 8/5).
'Ignorance of Past'
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