Bill Cosby wearing Central High School shirt to presser enrages alums: ‘Ew moment’

The Central High School class of 1997 shirt commemorated the Philadelphia school’s 256th graduating class and had the names of his batchmates on the back

                            Bill Cosby wearing Central High School shirt to presser enrages alums: ‘Ew moment’
Bill Cosby wore his old high school shirt as he spoke to reporters outside of his home (Photo by Michael Abbott/Getty Images)

A day after being released from prison, Bill Cosby appeared for a press conference on Wednesday, June 30, outside his Elkins Park home in Pennsylvania wearing a Central High School class of 1997 shirt, which contained the names of his batchmates on the back. This angered a number of alums from his old high school, who were disgusted by his choice of clothing, most of whom did not support his sexual assault conviction being overturned. 

It was a white shirt with the digits “256″ in hand-drawn gold letters on a crimson background, which commemorated the Philadelphia school’s 256th graduating class, which earned diplomas in 1997. Cosby has quite the history with the school. He briefly attended Central in the 1950s before he left without completing his graduation and joined Germantown High. Following his untimely exit from the school, Cosby kept in touch with his old high school, being the dedicated alum who showed up at Central functions, spoke to graduating classes, and donated money to various causes. He also ended up being inducted into the school’s Hall of Fame in 1998, before being removed in 2015 after allegations of sexual abuse surfaced. The Central Alumni Association said at the time that the decision to remove Cosby’s was made from “a desire to eliminate an issue that was distracting from the mission of the Alumni Hall of Fame.”


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The shirt in question was given to Cosby by a high school alum Dan Taraborrelli, the class president for Central's 1997 class. He also commented in a post about Cosby's outfit choice on Twitter saying, "What's even more weird is that he still has it after I gave it to him in 1996 lol"


After seeing Cosby wear the shirt to a press conference, Taraborrelli told TMZ that he was not happy to see Cosby wearing their shirt and the alums don't want him wearing it again. He said that the class has made it very clear about wanting no association or affiliation with the comedian. He said that 150 such shirts were made and distributed and he was puzzled as to why Cosby chose to wear that particular shirt the very next day he got out of jail because he had not been seen wearing the shirt often in the past. 

LaToya Winkfield, an alum who owned the same shirt as Cosby was shocked to find him wearing the old high school shirt. “I hate to say ‘ew’ as a 41-year-old, but it was very much an ‘ew’ moment,” Winkfield told the Philadelphia Inquirer, adding that she was disturbed to see that the back of the shirt had the names of all her 256 classmates. Youma Diabira, who graduated from Central last month, thought Cosby’s Central shirt was “embarrassing.” “It was almost disrespectful to the institution for him to throw on that gear,” said Diabira.


Attorney Jennifer Bonjean and Bill Cosby speak outside of Bill Cosby's home on June 30, 2021 in Cheltenham, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Michael Abbott/Getty Images)

Other alums and social media users had similar sentiments as they slammed Cosby for wearing that shirt. "Why did bill cosby think wearing a central shirt was a good idea," one of them said while another noted, "NO WAY BILL COSBY WORE MY SCHOOL’s SHIRT WHEN HE GOT RELEASED WHY." A third added, "Not Bill Cosby wearing a Central shirt coming out of prison." The next remarked, "Bill Cosby really had to wear a Central shirt on live television right after being released from prison?" One more commented, "Bill Cosby’s out here wearing a Central shirt for the whole world to see…" 

One user reacted with, "Bill Cosby knows damn well he owns 100 Howard Shirts! Why ain’t put one of those on!!!! Damn I’m really salty about this." Another chimed in, with, "I believe survivors when they tell their stories. That being said, from even my own personal experience with Bill Cosby—I can tell you, he is a predator. And to wear a Central shirt." A commenter tweeted, "I bet Philadelphia Central High School really regrets sending Bill Cosby that shirt now." One of them quipped, "Why would bill cosby wear a central shirt on his first day out ??? he didn’t even graduate wtf"