A former volleyball player on the University of Cincinnati women’s team filed a lawsuit last week alleging she was racially and sexually discriminated against when she was kicked off the team for her social media posts.
Shalom Ifeanyi, who is black, claims head coach Molly Alvey booted her from the team last year because of posts she made to Instagram that were deemed “too sexy,” according to Courthouse News. In her federal lawsuit, Ifeanyi, 19, said Alvey singled her out and treated her differently than the other players on the team, constantly “harassing and body shaming” her because of pictures she posted to her social media accounts.
The lawsuit points to one particular text message chain in which Alvey asks Ifeanyi to remove pictures from her Instagram account. Ifeanyi then said she felt like she was being “body shamed.”
“I can’t make them go away,” Ifeanyi wrote back, referencing a tight fitting top she’s wearing in the pictures. “In these pictures I just got my hair done and I really liked my makeup and thought the pictures were pretty. “There’s a history of black women because of their bodies being sexualized and that’s what appears to be happening to me. I can’t help the way I’m built. I am not trying to argue, I just feel like I have to be flat chested or real skinny in order to post.”
Ifeanyi said she took the posts down but was dismissed from the team several months later in the summer of 2017. Her lawsuit is seeking compensatory damages, punitive damages and attorney fees.