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Originally written on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 11/20/14

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An anti-gang policy in the Weld County School System in Colorado has left students disappointed because they’re prevented from wearing Peyton Manning jerseys to school. One third grader even had to remove his Peyton Manning jersey.

“They told me I couldn’t wear 18 anymore because it’s a gang number and I had to take it off,” Konnor Vanatta told FOX 31 in Denver.

Weld County District 6 apparently has had this policy in place for more than three years, and it applies to the numbers 13, 14, 18, 31, 41 and 81, which all represent possible gang affiliations.

“We’re Broncos fans ourselves; it has nothing to do with that. We’re just wanting to set a consistent solid, example,” district spokesperson Roger Fiedler told FOX 31.

Students aren’t banned from supporting the Broncos, they just have to be careful about what numbers they wear. Vanatta wore a jersey with a different number to school on Tuesday.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen a student forced to remove a jersey, but this was actually for a much better reason. If Peyton Manning wants to show solidarity with Colorado’s youth, then maybe he should consider changing his jersey number.

H/T Around the League

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Comments 1-100 (of 125):
  • Instead of forbidding the numbers, why don't we hunt the gangs like we hunt animals and get rid of them?
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  • you will get get your face smashed hehe
  • Maybe when gangs start wearing polo shirts, they will ban those in school, too. Oh wait, I know, we need gangs to start wearing plaid skirts and saddle shoes so Catholic schools will have to ban those, too. Nice to know that gangs are dictating what our kids can wear to school.
  • Well...gangs exist for reasons that are preventable, but most people don't care about any of that until it becomes an issue with what kind of jersey you can wear. That is very ironic.
  • Because we don't hunt animals to get rid of them and people aren't animals. At least, that is what I learned in school.
  • Act like an animal, get treated like an animal. Enough said.
  • iI completely agree.Stop being afraid of the underbelly of society and hunt thm down and END THEM
  • I was just thinking the same thing. Why let these animals dictate our lives. the school systems are bowing cowards.
  • Why don't people quit thinking that rules don't apply to them?!?!? It has been a rule for over 3 years...and so some kid thinks he can do whatever he wants and the rules be damned...now they want to make a federal case out of it!! I cry foul...Why aren't the parents teaching their children there are rules and need to be followed...
  • Why is it that they can't wear a jersey for there favorite player? This is what a 3/4th grader who wants to wear the jersey of Payton Manning. Why do we have to give our freedoms up because of law breakers? At Christmas time last year I said merry Christmas to a worker at Wal-Mart's and was told there not allowed because it's offensive to other religions. When are we going to stop this oh lets not upset these people or them people. This is my country but it's being taken away because we might offend someone, that's a gang number or color. My God he's what 8/9 years old and being told don't wear that number it represents a gang number, NO it represents Payton Manning's number.
  • If I said Merry Chrismas at any store and the person said they were allowed to said it so they would not ofend any one I a,ways say, well you just offended one of the 83% of Christians so if you don't want to offend 17% of the people but are allowed to offend 83% of the people, I wil take my business elsewhere. I then leave everything I bought and leave. If I already paid for it, it all goes back to customer serveice and I get a refund. Guess what, I am no longer politically correct. I am tired, it is my money and if you can offend the majority but not the minority, I wil take my business elsewhere. MERRY CHRISTMAS!
  • You, sir, are an idiot. How is it offensive to NOT say Merry Christmas? What if it was his own personal belief to not say it? You make it sound like your Christian beliefs put you above everyone else, and those who don't give you a Christian holiday greeting are beneath you. "I'm a Christian and I'm the majority! I'll take my money elsewhere!" Cry me a river. It's offensive if you say "Merry Christmas" to me, because it shows you automatically assumed I'm a Christian.
  • I'm sorry - but your statement about you being a Christian makes me laugh. Let me guess, you're Christian on Sunday right?
  • YOU, Sir, are the idiot! It is offensive not to respond. I am Christian, but wish my Jewish co-workers a Happy Chanakuh. I respect their beliefs and traditions, and they respect mine. It's called mutual respect! The employee at W-Mart didn't have to be Christian to be polite. I wish my Jewish friedns a "Merry Christmas" as well. They don't celebrate it, but they respect it as I do their holidays. They give me good wishes on their holidays as well. I believe we call it tolerance and respect.
  • You are the idiot! My son is an Eagles fan, they may not be the greatest team in the NFL but he wears his Jersey to school! As for the Christian Holiday Greeting, why are my kids allowed to be taught about Hannukah and have dreidels and manora's sent home? Why are my kids taught about Kwanzaa? You are absolutely ridiculous. BTW I HOPE YOU HAVE A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS THIS YEAR! DO YOU EVEN KNOW THE MEANING? MORON!
  • Never heard of that one. I think everybody should just get their knickers out of a twist and get over it. All so bloody easily offended by nothing. That's offensive.
  • Heck yeah. All this PC crap is getting old. Why should we have to watch what we say because of a small percentage of people might be offended. I didn't know we lived in China I thought we live in a free country.
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  • RIGHT ON!
  • First amendment prevents the government from making laws that prohibit you from free speech, religion, press etc. It does not protect you from anything else, including schools preventing you from wearing numbers. For example, you can call your boss a moron and he can fire you. You are not protected under the first amendment. I wish people would stop spewing about first amendment rights every time something like this comes up.
  • If I was his mom, I would make a jersey with Peyton Mannings name on it...in fact...all the moms should do that for the kids...same jersey...just put the name on it...Peyton on the front...,.Manning on the reverse...
  • AGAIN, RIGHT ON!
  • on your side jpnam68...Why doesn't Colorado do something about their gang problem? The first thought that evil is taking over is that good men are doing nothing! (That's not exactly how it goes, but it's darn close). Stop letting the gangs run your city! Teach your children about the aspects of FREEDOM...not how to nuckle under to a gang presence...they will go out into the world being afraid to live.
  • STFU
  • Oh I don't know because some rules are completely stupid. Gang members wear hats, pants, shirts, and even shoes! Let's ban all those to while we are at it. Here is a novel idea arrest the gang members and let them go to school in jail. Not allowing a child to wear a sports jersey is making this country safer? Please NY if somebody couldn't wear a Tebow or Manning Jersey you would be on the picket line. I am all for rules, like not running into the street. But arbitrary numbers that s**t has got to go, by the way I could really give a rats ass about Peyton. If these schools are so worried about gang activity put every kid in a uniform, cheaper in the long run and guess what no one gets butt hurt when you mock their crappy team. Peace commrades.
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  • Your comment is so stupid I don't know where to begin. 1. Nobody in this story was intentionally trying to flout any rules. 2. Nobody is making a federal case about it. Student wore the shirt, school said no, student took it off. 3. Parents that have no affiliation with gang members probably have no idea that there are even banned numbers to begin with. How can you teach your children some obscure rule that doesn't apply unless you're in a gang? Think before you comment. And try to read the story too.
  • Well said, yep alot of stupid people out there. They must be leaning to the left or an Obamba supporter. REALLY!!!
  • hodatt you are the idiot and a reflection of whats wrong with the GOP total intolerance and pure ignorance, how this has anything to do with Obama is beyond any rational
    thought. but you have no idea what that is.so learn how to spell the President of the United States Name if you
    have to insult him
  • You're an idiot. There's really nothing more I can say about the above comment. Just a simle minded idiot.
  • @smuphinator... you must not have children and must live in some high walls within that ivory tower. us lesser folk know what gang violence is and how it works. We understand what precaution is and how it can save lives. in a perfect world we could all wear what we want but when you join us in reality, youll soon see that what you wear can and has ended lives.
  • @longislandtea1 Oh my... It's a jersey.. and this rules are rules thing.. Give me a freaking break... You are a poor power hungry rule enforcing junkie. This isn't even that serious.. So, kid keep wearing the jersey... Oh and just so ya know... I am a Cowboys fan... How bout them Cowboys.. You Tom Brady ass-licker
  • @longislandtea1... 18 refrences the 18th st gang which is at constant war witht he 14st gang. divisions from the MS13 cartel battleing for drug operations. More then anything preventing these jerseys helps prevent these gangs from recruiting new members and of course voilence between the two. its not power hungry anything hence they can wear any other jersey they want.
  • You need to grow up and the schools need to get a life. That has got to be the most ridiculous piece of crap I have ever read. Now I know why Colorado has turned liberal. They come up with the same stupid ideas that the rest of the liberals do. Instead of fixing problem, they want to hide from it. Take out the trash and get rid of the gangs, then you don't have an issue. Or is it the cops are afraid of them?
  • I live in Colorado and gangs are a major problem. The school I work for faces this issue every day so until you know what you're talking about, please refrain. The middle schools around Denver are training camps for gangs...the schools are getting much better but it's an ongoing issue with all the mexican gangs that exist here. If a kid wears the wrong number or color, they are in jeopardy of getting beaten up or killed. It's just a matter of fact. If you're not part of the solution, you are part of the problem...this is just one of the small initiatives taken to help solve this problem. So, shut up.
  • longislandtea, Are you friggin serious. You are actually trying to say that people should follow rules as it applies to wearing a friggin shirt because of a bunch of dumb ass gangs..the kid is a 3rd grader for Gods sakes..So I would assume by your standard that if I go to Denver I should not wear a shirt with Mannings number on it,or, If I am Payton Manning I should probably ask the NFL to have my number blocked off just in case there is a gang memeber in the stands that may want to Shank me while I'm playing a game. This is to the point of stupid which brings me to you. You are an idiot if you think for one moment that this 3rd grader is in the wrong for showing support for a player and a team he loves..The rule is Stupid and instead of punishing the 3rd grader they perhaps should throw the little ass wipes that belong to gangs in jail. Cowering down to them and changing the rules only makes the problem worse and gives them waht they want.
  • robert11041, you are incorrect sir. The gangs are a serious issue here in Colorado. They target children
  • Agreed, I will bet money though that these numbers that are banned by students are being worn by all the schools sports teams.
  • He was a third grader! He is just a little kid and doesnt know better! Those rules are BULL, I understand the reasoning but seriously not letting a THIRD GRADER wear is favorite football player's jersey is not right!
  • MOST rules such as this are down right STUPID to begin with.
  • Stupid rules are meant to be broken. Just because it's a rule doesn't make it right. It the school stated that children are not allowed to wear tennis shoes would that be acceptable? Punish those who are breaking the law, don't make a rule to punish everyone else.

    Peace, Love, and Understanding
  • So what? This kid's mom needs to get a grip. She's "pretty upset the schools have come down to this" (wtf does that mean?) and thinks the school should "pay more attention to education rather than what the kids are wearing..." I didn't realize it was an either-or proposition, that enforcing a dress code degrades an education. If that's the case, then, judging by the way she talks, her school was all dress code and no education. I hate this self-entitled crap. I'm sure the kid has plenty of nice clothes in his closet. His mom should help him pick something else out and stop embarrassing herself.
  • STFU!
  • So were going to just let these a-holes take numbers away from us now. We shouldn't cave in to such nonsense. What would you do if these pricks decide to affiliate their worthless gangs with certain textbooks, you gonna take those out of school too. This is ridiculous. Who let these a-hole wimps onto the school board. The pussification of America is out of control.
  • Couldn't have said it better myself:)
  • These a-holes you refer to are just trying to help keep kids from getting killed. If they know gangs are in the area targeting these #'s good for them for taking some action to ensure the kids safety. Its kind of a shame reading some of these comments that people are more worried about their right to choose to wear what they want, and when they want vs backing a decision to try and help save a childs life.
  • Really? You cant wear jerserys because numbers are affiliated to gangs? So... are all of those numbers then excluded from all math problems, lessons, etc? We wouldn't want people to think the school is gang related. See how rediculous that is?

    Do children in Cincinatti get to wear Reds jerseys (or children in Boston & Red Sox jerseys) to school?
    (They might be secretly repping Blood... OR they might be a Reds/Red Sox fan! Which is more likely.)

    People wear the jersey of their favorite players to support... the player! Especially children. Hell im not even in school anymore and I didn't know that those numbers were "gang related" besides 13.. never really crossed my mind before.
  • At one point in my life, I was told not to wear my favorite color of Chuck Taylor sneakers ( blue, red) because they represent the colors of two of the dumbest gangs in America. I realized at the age of 45 that I was denied my Chucks. Of course I now wear them, but think of the years I lost. We have got to stand up to these gangs.
  • I am a teacher in an area that is known for its gangs. I worked with a teacher who told our student's about a young boy that was shot by a gang because his favorite teams number or colors was the same as a rival gangs. He was an innocent victim of gang violence. He was with an older brother and the gangs wanted him to take sides. Everyone needs to quit blaming the school. As a teacher I am supposed to protect my student's and if you think I would like the added responsibility of policing their clothing or having to keep on top of what colors and numbers gangs in the areas are claming as theirs, you are sadly mistaken. But, that is what I must do in order to protect your children. It is a very sad situation that a child cannot innocently where their idols number but that is the world that we are living in today. If you or the parent don't like it than start to work with anti-gang task forces and stop them from ruling our lives. Don't blame the school for doing what they must to protect your child. Trust me as soon as a neighborhood would have one of their children shot than they would blame the school. We are blaming the wrong people here.
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  • Well said, I am not a teacher but have 3 boys that I would do anything for to protect them, this may not solve the problem but we need to start somewhere.

    Update: September 06, 2012
    Thanks Victorian angel.
  • Gang related? Hmm, now let me see here. Rules are rules and I do understand that however, stupid is stupid also. Lets take this a bit farther in protecting society. No numbers associated with gangs and no crosses around our neck or Rosaries used to pray. Why? well it's simple, the cross represents racist actions by existing or former gangs. Yep, wooden crosses were used to strike fear in black families by burning them in their yards thus making it offensive. No numbers and no crosses. Does anyone see the stupidity in all this?
  • Let's get rid of the low life gangs, with their idiotic hand signs and all of the drugs they use/sale/kill over. These are a much bigger threat to society than some kid wearing a jersey #to school. Since when did we start taking away freedom of choice so the gangs can control even more segments of society? Find them...arrest them...convict them...sentence them! Stop cowering to their dumb asses! They are nothing more than a bunch of worthless, lazy, ignorant street punks with no contributions to society except to take what they are to stupid or lazy to earn!
  • ganghater pretty much nailed it,
    Yeah that's right, just didn't go far enough.
    Imagine that the gangs are in control of five numbers
    I see Brady's #12 is available, that would make it a six pack. Why do things like this happen? Because we have become a nation of Sissy's Yeah thats right. A Kinder, gentler nation of Sissy's
  • I am going to start a gang and call it the obama mommas. Then they will have to take Obomas name off the presidential ballot because his name would now be gang related. SAME DIFFERENCE!
  • I understand the need to make sure children are safe, but are these gang members in the elementary school? @victorianangel - I am also a teacher and what happens outside of school cannot be regulated by dress code rules inside schools. I get we need rules in place, but I agree with most here - this is a bit riduculous. IF the child had a regular shirt with the number 18, that's a different story. This was CLEARLY a football jersey.
  • I would like to know, if these numbers are banned, do they skip 13, 14, 18, 31, 41 and 81 when they learn to count to 100? This is so crazy. They are numbers for God Sake.
  • If you succumb to the thoughts of what might be wrong then eventually you wont get out of bed. If there is a huge problem with Gangs in this area they should be in uniforms, end of debate. This is what is going on elsewhere in the country. Administrators need to follow some rules of thier own instead of some ridiculous number removal.
  • No way bro, the gangs should be wearing pink prison clothing "in prison where they ALL should be" and a good beat down daily by the people they hurt. Anyone need a Louisville Slugger or a metel bat.
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  • The First Amendment is very old law and takes precedent. Numbers are forbidden? Do words and numbers become criminal? Do words and numbers cause crime? Free expression is protected; it is not inflammatory speech. What is the issue? Denying free expession to children and citizens. We are no longer living in a Constitutional democracy. That is the lesson students are learning.
  • NO red shirts, bandanas, or blue ones either. No gang numbers on jerseys, don't cross your fingers for good luck...it may be confused as a gang sign, and if you drive an Impala you have to park your car down the street from the school parking lot because all gang members drive Impalas. No gold chains, no using slang, and bi all means you can't wear anything that may pay homage to your momma...cuz gang members have moms and dads. In fact no one is allowed to go outside of their house because gang members might drive by in their Impala, wearing their numbered jersey, flashing a gang sign and waving a bandana and hollering, "Word to yo motha!" Holy crap this world is caving to the bullies and the minority. We have been raised, trained, taught and brainwashed Political Correctness to the point of stupidity. What a bunch of moronic BS.
  • How about locking up all the gangs @ law breakers in this country. Common Sense Please.
  • So another question comes to mind...was Queen Latifah confused as to which Manning was playing or is she aware of the number 18's significance? Well Sang...but my first thought was the humor of the number selection with little Bro Eli playing...unaware of the Gang Number issue...
  • By banning these numbers you are giving the gangs just what they want..ownership of some very public. and control without having to do anything.Doing want they want..making you fear them!
  • I am so sick & tired of this politically correct crap! Everyone's individuality is being taken away. We as American's need to take back our Country...the good ole USA! Who cares about the number on the jersey? What everybody needs is a good swift kick in the butt & remember their constitution! Or are we going to change that too?
  • i wonder how many brainstorming sessions the school faculty went through and at what cost to come up with these "rules"
    why not brainstorm and address the actual problem?
    SCHOOL UNIFORMS FOR ALL
    NO MORE PROBLEM
  • By banning these numbers all you are doing is what the gangs want..ownership of something very public. They are contoling the schools without doing anything. Doing what they want..making you fear them.
  • By banning these numbers you are giving the gangs what they want...ownership of something very public! The schools are doing the gangs work for them...making you fear them!
  • So certain numbers are forbidden because the number signifies a gang related thing. If memory serves me correctly all gangs have a certain color. Lets see Red....Bloods, Blue....Crips and I am willing to bet all the other primary colors are associated with a particular gang. From now on the only color allowed in the Denver School District is "NUDE". We dont want to wear the number 18 in school it may "dis" the local gang
  • The last school official I talked to in the Weld County School Distric told me that you "Checked Your Rights at the Door" when you enter a public school.
  • God FORBID! We Don't want NFL Gangs Shootin UP the Schools!
  • I went to school in Greeley (UNC bears!). Its a farm town which is predominently hispanic. The number 18 refrences 18ers (18th St.) Its been a bad part of town long before PFM got here. if you think taking these jerseys out of schools is a bad thing or if they shoudl make an exception... youre priorties are so out of touch with reality is sad. Childrens lives are at stake and after Columbine and batman shootings coloradoans are more then happy to see precautions. esspecially when it comes to our children.
  • This country is F'd up!
  • westside 18 crypts dog yeah yeah............or something like that not sure i'm white.
  • are u, sounds like you're stupid to me, there's a gang problem in every major city in the US. maybe you and some of the others on here talking about how to rid these cities of their gang problem should go and contact gang members and let them know to cut out the bs and see where that get's you!
  • You GRORILLA. Can get ALL of you from the 4th story window....rilla.
  • I'm playing 13, 14, 18, 31, 41 and 81 in the Powerball this weekend!
  • So what of the gangs switch numbers yet again? Are we going to say you can't wear ANY number between 1 and 100? What if they change colors? Now you can't wear red, blue, green,orange greay ,black, etc, etc to school? How about doing more to dismantle the gangs and less to punish the poeple supporting their football team!!!
  • Stop teaching math....it's offensive!
  • There is nothing inherently wrong with the #18. This is another case of myopic thinking resulting in the proverbial throwing of the baby out with the bathwater. The #18 on an orange Peyton Manning jersey is instantly recognizable as belonging to the Denver Broncos, not a gang. I should think that the Denver community would welcome the opportunity to take back the number from the gangs who took it from them. Wear the jersey proudly. Otherwise, the gangs have won another victory in dictating to Denver what they can cannot wear.
  • Is it possible this whole thing could backfire and cause more of a problem rather than fix it? Tell a small child that they can't wear the jersey of their football idol because it's gang related. Maybe now the kid thinks Peyton Manning is a gang member, and now looks forward to being just like Peyton, gang-banger and all.
  • This is just another situation were you must forget about your individual rights in order for someone else to not have their rights infringed upon.
  • That's great, a bunch of coward thugs dictate what children wear. I would support no Jerseys but to exempt certain numbers because they may or may not represent a cowardly organization is senseless.
  • By disallowing only those 5 numbers, the school seems to be recognizing the gang's authority.

    The school should allow ALL football jersey numbers and kick out the 'number' gangs... which is absolutely REDICULOUS if you think about it.
  • This whole subject is FUBAR.
  • So, when kids are taught to count in Colorada, are those numbers skipped??? :)
  • Ask the DUMB school administrators who came up with this idea.
  • So Peyton Manning has his own gang in Denver? Even John Elway couldn't pull that off!
  • But John Elway never had to pull his jersey off either....
  • So lets say they didn't have this rule and your kid wears his favorite jersey with #18 on it and gets shot walking home from school then I bet you start crying and complaining that the school should have done something, anything, but wait they did try but people just wanted their right to wear their favorite jersey and threw a fit on yard barker. Hopefully nothing bad ever happens to anyones child, doing nothing though is not the answer and this may not be the answer either, but its something. Come on people
  • Dont you get it? Laws are meant to give us the law abiding people LIBERTY. Instead our governments and all their agencies are determined to use laws to restrict the law abiding citizen. What do you call that??????? Its called Communism. Your being taught communism. Their main tactic is to punish everyone so that everyone can be controlled. This is UNAMERICAN, Bring everyone to justice for breaking the laws and gangs wouldnt exist. Period.
  • ever heard of a citizen arrest, well get to work, I dare you! you talk as if these gang members are all standing on a corner or something like that. well I used to be one and has never stood on a corner, it's not that obvious people!
  • I KNEW PEYTON MANNING WAS IN A GANG!! You can't trust anyone these days.
  • YEP = gang of football GREATS
  • If a gang in every NFL city decides to adopt their local pro team's colors as their gang colors, will this shut down the entire NFL jersey money-making machine?
  • Who's winning the war between society and punk street gangs? Who's winning the war on terror when grandma has to take her orthopedic shoes off at the airport? The real problem is the fools we put in charge of policing our communities and securing our country. Idiot knee jerk blanket reactionary policies instead of using one's head.
  • Let's start by getting rid of Obama, then Homeland Janet
  • So what you are saying is you would have children die before giving up your LIBERTY, The rule sucks I agree but on the other hand I want to protect my children and I want to see these schools step up and take on these issues. I would have a bigger problem with this rule if the School was only applying the rule for certain kids, but this rule is for all students.
  • See more comments >>
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The last few years haven’t exactly gone according to plan for one of the greatest basketball players to set foot on a court. And it now appears that the end of Kobe Bryant’s tremendous NBA career is nearing. Bryant apparently told Los Angeles Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak that the 2015-2016 season will be his last in the NBA. “He has indicated to me that this is it...
Via Sportsnaut
21 hours ago

Don Shula named in painkiller lawsuit from former NFL players

Hundreds of former NFL players have filed another lawsuit alleging that doctors, trainers and medical staffs from all 32 NFL teams pumped players full of painkillers to keep them on the field without taking their long-term health into consideration. A similar lawsuit that was filed last year around this time was dismissed in December after...Read More
Via Larry Brown Sports
23 hours ago

Kyrie Irving questionable for Game 2 versus Atlanta

The Cleveland Cavaliers announced on Friday that point guard Kyrie Irving skipped the morning shootaround for Friday’s Game 2 versus the Atlanta Hawks in order to get further tests on his injured left knee. The team listed his availability for Friday night’s game as questionable. ESPN’s Brian Windhorst is hearing that the Cavs are ordering an MRI on his knee to find out...
Via Waiting For Next Year
1 day ago
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