(San Antonio, TX) Houston attorneys, Mo Aziz of Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner and Judge Marc Carter of Schaffer Carter & Associates, represent Eric Morante, a Marine Corps veteran and San Antonio resident who was denied participation in a boxing tournament solely on the grounds of his amputated leg. As a result, a lawsuit has been filed in Bexar County against USA Boxing, Inc., Golden Gloves of America, Inc., Texas Golden Gloves Association, and San Antonio Golden Gloves asserting claims of discrimination.
The lawsuit against the named defendants arises out of a pre-scheduled bout that was arranged to take place on February 15, 2019. On this day, Mr. Morante was set to compete against a named opponent at the Lincoln Community Center in San Antonio. However, he was denied the opportunity to participate in the event that he trained for, and was registered and qualified to compete in. Upon arrival, he was allowed to weigh-in and suit up into boxing attire, yet, at the last minute, the veteran was informed that he would not be allowed to fight solely due to his prosthetic leg.
In 2007, Mr. Morante was severely injured by a suicide bomb explosion while serving in Iraq, which resulted in an above the knee amputation of his right leg. “Fought a war and sacrificed a part of me to pay my duty, only to have my passion and career stripped from me by USA Boxing,” stated Mr. Morante.
It should be noted that Defendant USA Boxing, Inc. has sanctioned matches between amputees who require the use of prosthetics against “able-bodied” boxers. In the time since he was denied participation in the tournament, Mr. Morante has competed in six boxing matches as an amputee.
Judge Marc Carter (Ret.), Founder of Harris County Veterans Court 2009 and Former U.S. Army Captain, released the following statement:
“As an advocate for our fighting men and women that return home and struggle to adjust to civilian life, I am disheartened by the actions of USA Boxing in denying this warrior the opportunity to compete because of his amputation. When Mr. Morante returned to Texas he suffered not only the loss of his leg but the loss of fellow marines. It saddens me to see our men and women fight for freedom abroad only to be denied equality at home. USA Boxing is about to get punched in the nose with no “corner man” because justice is on our side.”