MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – Luther Johnson V is back in the game.
"I am ready to step on this field with my brothers tonight and play," Johnson, who wears No. 44 for Christopher Columbus High School's lacrosse team, said Wednesday night before a game against Belen Jesuit Preparatory School.
The 17-year-old senior had been sidelined earlier this year after the Florida High School Athletic Association punished him for allegedly taking part in unsportsmanlike conduct while playing lacrosse against Belen Jesuit Preparatory School and Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
Johnson said he was reacting to bullying and racial slurs. His attorney, Rawsi Williams, said Johnson didn't deserve to be punished, so they filed a lawsuit against the FHSAA. A judge issued an emergency injunction allowing him to play Wednesday night.
"With him being a senior that has a perfect GPA, recruiting letters of interest in both football and lacrosse, letters from 15 universities across the nation, including Ivy League schools, there was no other remedy," Williams said.
Attorneys for the FHSAA argued the ban was warranted, but during the game, Johnson received support from both sides of the field.
Adrian Alfonso, the parent of a Columbus High School student, said the FHSAA punishment was too severe.
"I think the judge did the right thing," Alfonso said.
Tony Franyie, the parent of a Belen Jesuit Preparatory School student, agreed with Alfonso.
"He had his issues in lacrosse, and I don't think his whole career in every sport should be affected," Franyie said.
Columbus beat Belen 42-7.