Shannon Miller claimed she was fired for being a woman. The Federal jury agreed. Jury slams Univ. of Minnesota-Duluth with $3.74 million judgment for firing lesbian coach
Shannon Miller, the Univ. of Minnesota-Duluth women’s hockey coach who was fired several years ago, has won a $3.74 million judgment in Federal court on Thursday in her discrimination case against the school.
Miller sued the school after she was fired following a very successful 16 years there. Miller, along with her wife and then-fired UMD softball coach Jen Banford, claimed the firing was the result of discrimination based on gender, sexual orientation and age.
The jury agreed, taking little time to deliberate on Thursday and awarding Miller every penny she and her attorneys asked for, according to the Duluth News Tribune.
“I’m very grateful for the jurors to have done their due diligence and listened with open minds and open hearts,” Miller said after the verdict was handed down, “and when you get a verdict like that you know that justice has taken the right course. It’s a big day for women period, but especially women in college athletics.”
Various former players took to social media after the verdict to celebrate the victory.
“Coach: Yet again you have taught us what it means to be strong, proud, daring and hard as steel,” one former player wrote. “Yet again you have taught to not shut up and to fight for our rights. Yet again you have taught us, that perseverance and resilience do pay off. And most importantly: Yet again you paved the way for all of us.”
Miller’s team finished 20-12-5 in her final season, ranked ninth in the country. She left the school with five national championships (most by any coach in NCAA women’s hockey). In 16 years she had only one losing season, 2012-13.
Today Miller and Banford can be seen around town in Palm Springs, Calif., where they operate the Sunny Cycle Electric Pedal Party, a fun way to tour the city.