First-ever player with Down syndrome to score in a college football game sues his alma mater for discrimination and harassment

A man who was the first college football player with Down syndrome to score in an NCAA football game is suing his alma mater, alleging harassment and retaliation when he complained, Insider reported.

Caden Cox filed the lawsuit in an Ohio federal court through his parents this Thursday. Cox kicked an extra point for Hocking College in their game against Sussex Community College back in 2021. It was reportedly his dream to be the kicker for Ohio State University.

Cox’s lawsuit alleges Hocking College student center supervisor Matt Kmosko of making “abusive, derogatory, and inappropriate comments” and harassing Cox since he began working there. “Specifically, Mr. Kmosko would consistently make derogatory slurs about individuals with Down Syndrome to Plaintiff during work hours, use the word ‘retarded’ and degrade his abilities, and berate and yell at Plaintiff frequently and in front of his co-workers,” the suit says.

The suit also accuses Kmosko of going through Cox’s phone without permission and sending aggressive text messages while staring at him “menacingly.” The suit also says that Kmosko followed Caden into a restroom and threatened him with a knife in May of 2022.

“When Plaintiff was able to return to the front desk, shaken and scared, he received a phone call from Mr. Kmosko, who said, ‘Caden, I see you through the window, get up and do something,’ then he hung up,” the suit says.

Kmosko was later charged and convicted of “menacing” after Cox’s family reported him to the police four days after the knife incident.

The suit says the school retaliated against Cox by only giving him the inspirational award after his attorney sent a letter to the school when he was supposed to earn the school’s scholar-athlete award, Hocking College trustee award, and the inspirational award.

Sky Palma

Before launching DeadState back in 2012, Sky Palma has been blogging about politics, social issues and religion for over a decade. He lives in Los Angeles and also enjoys Brazilian jiu jitsu, chess, music and art.