Saturday, February 6, 2016

Colorado school district bans students from wearing Peyton Manning jerseys

While Peyton Manning gets ready to play possibly his last game in the NFL, one Colorado school district has banned students from wearing the future Hall of Famer’s No. 18 jersey — and it's not because they are Cam Newton fans.

That's because Manning’s iconic jersey number could be used to show loyalty to the local “18th Street Gang, according to officials at Greeley-Evans School District 6.

Manning's No. 18 makes it one of six numbers identified by the district — which operates 25 schools — as having potential gang associations.

So all you Owen Daniels fans are out of luck too.

The five other numbers identified as gang-related by the district and can’t be worn by students in the public district, about an hour from the Bronco’s Mile High Stadium, are 13, 14, 31, 41 and Daniels' 81. Meaning you won't see any Trevor Siemian, Cody Latimer or Omar Bolden jerseys cruising the halls either.

“Gangs use those items of clothing for a few reasons,” school district spokeswoman Theresa Meyers told The Tribune, of Greeley. “They use them to recruit and they use them to intimidate.”

But the No. 1 sported by Newton, quarterback of Denver’s Super Bowl opponent the Carolina Panthers, will be allowed.

Manning has worn No. 18 since his collegiate days at University of Tennessee, and his jersey has been a big seller in Colorado since he became a Bronco in 2012.

But even with the Broncos in Sunday’s NFL championship, and schools around the state holding “Broncos Days,” Greeley-Evans hasn’t had to field any real complaints about its dress code.

“I think as time has gone on, it’s just an expectation,” Meyers said. “Now, people are just like, ‘That’s the rule.’”

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