A trans teenager has reportedly been fired from his job at McDonald’s following media attention about being a footballer for his high school’s team.
Two weeks ago Kenny Cooley received media attention across the globe after speaking about being an out trans football player for his Halifax West High School football team.
The Canadian teen spoke to ABC news about his team accepting him and what it’s like to be the first trans player.
Cooley said: “They’re just so open and they accept you for who you are.”
He certainly isn’t the most experience football player but his teammates and coaches have welcomed him to “the family” with open arms.
However, the teen encountered backlash from his five minutes of fame when he was fired from his part time job at McDonald’s.
Cooley told the Metro that just two days after his story went global, management at his job called him in and fired him “one because of the media, and two because of some schedule mishaps.”
Bob Smith, who operates the McDonald’s Cooley worked at has denied the claims. He said to Mic: “I’m shocked by these allegations as they are simply not true.”
“I have been a local business owner for more than 25 years and I pride myself on operating an open and diverse workplace,” Smith said in his statement.
“At my restaurants, inclusion has always been an important part of my work culture. Our philosophy has always been to ‘bring your whole self to work.’ By doing so, we encourage an open and accepting workplace that allows everyone to contribute their personal best.” he added.
Cooley said he did not get a “good feeling” about his dismissal. The 17 year old said: “It was a really uncomfortable setting. It kind of made me feel really bad.”
Youth Project, A local LGBT+ advocacy group in the area, has called for Cooleys’ reinstatement as well as an apology.
Executive director for the group, Kate Shewan, called for the fast food giants to update its policies on gender identity and sexual orientation.
“Youth are constantly telling us that they’re denied employment opportunities because they’re trans — we hear it happening all the time,” Shewan said.
The teen just wants an apology from the company for the way he was treated, but his mother is considering bringing McDonald’s to court.