Former American Heritage Basketball Coach Files Discrimination Suit in Wake of Scandal


(Last Updated On: September 14, 2021)

Rodman Employment Law


Winning Coach Fights Firing Over Permitting Players to Wear Black Lives Matter Shirts

September 13, 2021, Boston, MA & Boca Raton, FL – Rodman Employment Law, a firm committed to defending the civil and human rights of individuals in the workplace, today announced the filing of a discrimination complaint with the Florida Commission on Human Relations on behalf of former American Heritage High School Women’s Head Basketball Coach, Brett Studley.

During his successful, 4-year tenure, Studley, who lives in Boca Raton, FL, led the Delray, FL, private school team through a rapid turn-around to qualify for the regional semi-finals for the first time in history. Studley’s complaint alleges that last year he came under fire by school administrators for allowing his players to wear Black Lives Matter t-shirts during pre-game warm-ups after the school failed to appropriately address racial hatred amongst its students. Studley was fired on June 10, 2021, after a series of games and a fundraiser were canceled by administrators allegedly in retaliation.

“We as parents expect our teachers and coaches to support our kids. Mr. Studley did what we would want our own teachers to do, support his students in what he perceived to be discriminatory actions. In doing so, he put his own livelihood on the line, and it is wrong that he and his family should suffer for doing the right thing,” said Chuck Rodman, founder and partner of Rodman Employment Law. “We are asking for an official investigation into this matter because we believe the school has repeatedly failed to act in the best interest of its students and disregarded Florida law.”

In recent years, American Heritage has been the subject of other racism accusations and for exhibiting a double standard. In 2018, former NBA star Dwayne Wade and actress Gabrielle Union publicly supported an investigation charging the school with race-based expulsion of an African American student. In addition, they’ve shown contradictory rules by permitting students to publicly support former President Donald Trump and the Blue Lives Matter movement during school. Studley and other faculty have also noted increased admissions scrutiny and disparate student discipline towards students of color.

Studley maintains relationships with many of his former American Heritage players and their parents. They have supported his position and publicly denounced his firing on social media.

“It takes a lot of courage for a successful coach to put his neck on the line to stand up for students of color in a private school setting in Florida, especially in today’s climate, and make them feel supported. Brett did the best he could to support his players while at the same time adhering to his employer policies. He did what was right,” said Monge Codio, father of former American Heritage star basketball player Jordana Codio.

Studley himself is Jewish and his grandfather survived the Holocaust. “I believe it is my obligation to speak up when I feel that something or someone is being wronged,” he said. “Continuing to be silent would be complicit in American Heritage’s discriminatory and retaliatory conduct.”

Studley wants to help ensure that people of all races, ethnic backgrounds, ages and genders in Florida receive the civil and human rights to which they are entitled. He is asking that donations be made to the ACLU of Florida and the Black Girls Matter Miami Coalition.

About Rodman Employment Law

With offices in Boston, Fort Lauderdale and Newton, Mass., Rodman Employment Law has over 50 years of combined experience successfully defending the civil and human rights of individuals in the workplace, and are committed to advocating, protecting and fighting for those rights under the law. Their award-winning team of experts has proven prowess in handling national wrongful termination, discrimination and sexual harassment cases. For more information, visit RodmanEmploymentLaw.com.

Press Contact: Carol Arnold, Arnold Communications, (603) 502-0469, carol@arnoldcomm.com.

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