Illinois Parents Protest Cancellation of Fall Sports

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Due to Covid-19, Illinois fall sports are being delayed and parents are not happy about it. These parents are trying to have Illinois Gov., JB Pritzker, work with Illinois High School Association (IHSA) to bring back fall sports.

Currently, Illinois is one of fifteen states and the only state in the midwest to withhold fall sports in 2020. Pritzker announced on Aug. 15th, 2020, that sports will be categorized into three risk levels; low, medium and high. Low-risk sports such as golf, girls tennis, cross country and girls swim and dive will remain in the fall under the IHSA plan. Football will join boys soccer and girls volleyball from the original fall season to join a busy spring season in Illinois.

“Look at the states that you’re talking about, they all have very high positivity rates, double-digit positivity rates in most,” Pritzker said. “And those are states– fine, if they’ve decided to endanger children and families in those states by allowing certain contact sports to take place, that’s their decision. That’s not something that’s good for the families, the children of Illinois.”

However, parents and student-athletes have a different perspective. Fall sports are a must for some student-athletes; It improves mental and physical health, as well as teamwork and building relationships with fellow teammates.

“Show him that we can be safe while doing this,” said Lincoln-Way East High School cheerleader Sophia Sladek. “We can wear masks. We just want to be happy and we want to get out there” 

Many organizers and people who partake in rallies hope that Pritzker takes notice of what these teenagers have to say. Not only do they want to make their point clear, but they want to prove that they aren’t just some irresponsible teens wanting to play sports with their friends. These student-athletes believe that they should be trusted to follow proper COVID-19 protocol whilst sustaining the same high-intensity games.

“Get back to the table, look at the data, realize that hey, you made a decision [in] July early August, you can make an adjustment now,” Joe Trost, an advocate for student-athletes said. 

Their words will be heard loud and clear by Pritzker. ‘If other states can figure it out, why can’t you?’ There should be some small alterations, if not major, soon to be made by the IHSA and Gov. Pritzker.