Boy Suspended for Shaved Head, Gets NBA Tickets in Return
Is a one-day in-school suspension worth meeting your favorite professional basketball player?
Patrick Gonzalez, a 12-year-old student at Woodlake Hills (Texas) Middle School, was given an in-school suspension Wednesday for having the face of Matt Bonner, a professional basketball player on the San Antonio Spurs, shaved into the back of his head, according to News 4 WOAI in San Antonio. School district officials thought the image was "distracting," Fox 29 in San Antonio reported earlier this week.
The school told Gonzalez to get another haircut, or face another in-school suspension on Thursday. Reluctantly, Gonzalez complied and shaved the image away, returning to class on Thursday.
Once Bonner and the Spurs heard about the suspension, they treated Gonzalez to a night on the town, giving him and his family tickets to the Spurs' second-round playoff game against the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday night, according to the San Antonio Express-News.
Before the game, Gonzalez even had the chance to meet Bonner face-to-face. Bonner hooked him up with an autographed jersey and an autographed pair of shoes, saying to the boy, "Keep supporting us redheads in the NBA," the Associated Press reported. Both Gonzalez and Bonner have red hair.
Bonner also came up with a potentially easier solution to what he dubbed "Hairgate."
"Couldn't you just move him to the back of the class?" Bonner said after shootaround Thursday morning, according to the Express-News. "Then nobody would see it; it wouldn't be a distraction. Otherwise, the nicest thing a fan has ever done for me is ruined."
For what it's worth, Bonner's mother is a teacher.
The story gained national attention when Kelly Dwyer of Yahoo! Sports' Ball Don't Lie blog picked it up late Wednesday night. Dwyer laid on some pretty thick sarcasm toward the school officials who decided to suspend Gonzalez, before dubbing it an "overreaction."
As someone who once may or may not have had an afro as a freshman in high school (we all have phases, right?), I'd like to think schools have larger issues to worry about than a boy supporting his favorite sports team in a rather unique way.
Photo: A family photo shows Patrick Gonzalez, 12, with an image of San Antonio Spurs' Matt Bonner shaved into his head. Gonzalez was suspended for a day from Woodlake Hills Middle School because the district deemed his $75 haircut a distraction. (Rachel Delgado/AP)
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