Football Player’s Request to Play Rejected by Court

A request by Mark Seay, Cal State Long Beach wide receiver, to play football with one kidney was denied in U.S. District Court Tuesday.

Seay, who lost a kidney when he was shot by a suspected gang member at a children’s party last year, sued the university last month after it said he could not play because the risk of injuring his remaining kidney was too great.

Judge Ronald S.W. Lew, in refusing to grant a preliminary injunction, said there was not clear proof that Seay’s remaining kidney is working normally.

Seay’s attorney, Richard J. Foster, said the ruling means that the junior will not play this season. Foster said he expects the case will proceed to a trial early next year.

“I have to accept it but I don’t want to,” Seay said. “Everybody is afraid of me. Anyone who is going to make a decision on my life wants to make sure I’m perfectly normal. I would probably have done the same if I was the judge.”


Seay became a hero when he shielded his 2-year-old niece from gunfire at the party last Halloween.

Foster contended that Seay’s remaining kidney is working properly and “presents no significant risk.”

Deputy Atty. Gen. Christopher C. Foley, representing the university, said, “We accept that his kidney function is stable . . . but it’s not normal.”