A group of Orange County, Calif., high school athletes sued Governor Gavin Newsom this week to reopen indoor high school sports programs.
This lawsuit is the first of many planned in Santa Clara, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Riverside, San Bernardino, and other counties that will be rolled out over the next few weeks in an attempt to, as their hashtag reads, #LetThemPlay.
The law firm that successfully fought to get high school and youth sports programs re-opened in San Diego County is leading the effort.
Orange County sophomore Elodie Danet, who goes to El Modena High School, told Fox 11 LA that she’s been watching lots of college volleyball on TV and can’t understand why she can’t play.
I’ve been watching college volleyball for a while now and it’s frustrating seeing them play cause we’re not able to. We’re not able to play the season and have the experience needed for college.
And therein lies the rub. While “indoor youth sports” have been banned, indoor college sports, such as volleyball and basketball, are allowed.
Attorney Stephen Grebing believes that allowing college and professional athletes to play while shutting out high school athletes is an equal protection violation.
Caleb Graham, who’s a junior on Anaheim’s Canyon High School basketball team, told Fox 11 LA that the governor’s decision is fundamentally unfair to younger athletes.
“It’s been a little bit annoying considering I’ve been working hard all this quarantine and then we just keep getting cancelled, it’s just frustrating,” Graham said.
[…] Brad Graham, Caleb’s dad, and a part of the “Let Them Play” movement, says the Governor has no medical evidence to warrant banning youth sports while allowing professional and collegiate sports to continue.
“They can’t say that it’s OK for college to play and not OK for the high school kids to play,” Brad Graham said. “The time to move forward is now, there’s not a huge risk to these kids, especially if we follow the same protocols that colleges and pros follow.”
It was only last week that Newsom gave districts permission to reopen outdoor sports such as football and rugby – with strict requirements.
CBS LA reports that student-athletes would have to be tested every week for most sports.
The new guidelines stipulate that outdoor high-contact sports can be played in counties with COVID-19 case rates at or below 14 per 100,000. Because they are more likely to be played unmasked, with close, face-to-face contact of more than 15 minutes, football, basketball, rugby, and water polo players over the age of 13 will be required to submit to weekly COVID-19 tests, with results made available within 24 hours of competition.
The move to reopen outdoor high school sports was helped along by the exasperated tweets of high school football player Isaiah Navarro. The Paraclete High School senior tweeted that the COVID shutdowns mean he hasn’t been recruited by any colleges.
Zero offers, zero looks, zero commitment, zero time on campus, zero homecoming, zero prom, zero traditional graduation. What a wasted final year of school. Worked hard and dedicated for absolutely ZERO. Big shout out to @GavinNewsom! You got what you wanted.
And it looks like the young lad pays attention to the news with this shot at California Governor Newsom for his COVID rule-busting, double standard dinner at the posh French Laundry.
If I am blessed to receive a scholarship, my announcement would be in front of a local taco truck instead of French Laundry.
The 250-pound lineman, who bench presses 300-pounds, used his new Twitter following to display his prowess on the field and got several offers.
Now, the indoor athletes – basketball, volleyball, rugby, and water polo – want the same opportunity.
The hugely unpopular closures were seized upon by Newsom’s political opponents, who will be on the recall and replacement ballot if the recall campaign gets enough signatures to qualify.
Kevin Faulconer is San Diego’s former mayor and governor candidate, who says Newsom must follow the science.
Our young athletes should be given the same opportunities as adult athletes, especially since it’s scientifically proven that kids are less susceptible to COVID than adults. #LetThemPlay
GOP candidate John Cox said, “thanking Gavin Newsom for actions he’s taken since the Recall became real, is like thanking the guy that punched you in the face and broke your nose for driving you to the hospital.”
But we’ll bet if the California governor frees indoor high school sports, there will be a lot fewer frustrated and angry parents and voters.