Redford boy tossed from hoops over dad’s weed

Candice Williams
The Detroit News
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A Redford Township grandfather is hoping his 7-year-old grandson can return to his basketball team after he was removed because his father smelled of marijuana.

William Craig Johns said his grandson, DeShaun, was dismissed from the Redford Township Junior Athletic Association basketball team last week. His ouster happened after two incidents involving the boy’s father at games in recent weeks.

“I just can’t see a little kid being punished for something like this,” Johns said Thursday. “He’s kind of bummed out.”

Meanwhile, the association defended its actions, stating that DeShaun’s father not only smelled of marijuana, but was threatening when asked to leave.

In January, Johns said DeShaun’s father was asked to leave a game because of the marijuana scent. Johns said the father has a medical marijuana card. When he attended another weekly game two weeks later, he again was asked to leave. There was an argument between DeShaun’s father and the athletic association president, Angie Blanding-Collins, Johns said.

“He ripped up a dollar bill and threw it toward her,” Johns said. “(DeShaun) still played in the game.”

About a month later, after a two-week break and two more games, DeShaun was dismissed, Johns said.

“All of a sudden, they kicked him off the team,” he said.

Blanding-Collins, president of the Redford Township Junior Athletic Association board, said Thursday that DeShaun was removed from the team not only because his father smelled of marijuana, but because of his response when asked to leave.

“He was very irate, cussing,” she said. “We as an organization have to provide safety not only for DeShaun, but the other kids.”

Blanding-Collins said after the first incident, DeShaun’s father was asked not to return to the games. However, he returned two weeks later.

“We really tried to resolve this matter,” Blanding-Collins said. “We reserve the right if the parents or guest is irate, we reserve the right to remove the family.”

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