High school basketball coach suspended for LGBTQ charity game is fighting back

High school basketball coach suspended for LGBTQ charity game is fighting back
High-school basketball coach Anthony Nicodemo has announced he's running for New York Assembly. Nicodemo came out to his team in 2013. Photo: @Nicodemo4NY / Twitter

A 15-year educator in Yonkers, N.Y. — who happens to be the only out gay high school basketball coach in the New York City metro area — is now a candidate for state assembly in the 90th district.

Democrat Anthony Nicodemo joins the wave of public school educators who have filed for positions in upcoming elections across the country. He cites the disconnect between state government and the front lines of public education.

“I don’t think most people in Albany know how the education system works,” Nicodemo told News12, in Westchester. “If you’ve done it for 15 years, and you have a vested interest in it, then you understand it.”

The social-studies teacher coaches boys basketball at Saunders Trade and Technical High School. He was named 2013 coach of the year by the Lower Hudson Basketball Coaches Association. That year, as the site Outsports reported, he came out to his team.

Nicodemo is a coach who stands up for his players, and he’s been an advocate for LGBTQ youth as well. He’s been a vocal opponent of the state athletics group moving a state tournament from his area.

After he and another coach ran a charity basketball event earlier this year, and raised $800 for the anti-bullying group GLSEN, an athletic group punished him for improper paperwork preceding the event. Nicodemo has appealed their suspension.

His campaign focuses on familiar-but-important themes going into the 2018 election: adequate school funding, common-sense gun laws, human rights and support for organized labor.

FiOS1 political reporter Andrew Whitman tweeted that Nicodemo is a strong candidate: “Seen lots of tweets using ‘openly gay’ as his #1 description, but he’s a lot more than that. Good luck, coach.”

Nicodemo has won the tip off as the first Democrat to file.

“I’m bringing the fight to Albany,” he said in his campaign-announcement video. “Our kids deserve better.”

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