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Hundreds of parents and players rallied outside the Connecticut State Capitol on Wednesday to express their anger over state officials effectively pressuring the state’s high school athletics organization into cancelling this fall’s high school football season.
Incredible turnout by Connecticut high school football players, parents and coaches PROTESTING the states decision to cancel the 2020 season. They’re asking @GovNedLamont to #LetUsPlay #letusplayCT pic.twitter.com/0JMpVj6nFS
— Dave Briggs (@davebriggstv) September 10, 2020
GREAT turnout today! #LetUsPlay pic.twitter.com/Zscg5TDTeq
— Brandon Fratta (@FrattaBrandon) September 9, 2020
Had almost all of CT at Governor Lamont’s doorstep today. Amazing to see everyone show up to fight for what they love.💯✊🏾🔥 #LetUsPlay #CIAC pic.twitter.com/iCiNtAzTkj
— Neil Brown (@NeilBrown668) September 10, 2020
We’re all on the same team today ✊ pic.twitter.com/ga6aapSYov
— Coach Tieri (@CoachTieri) September 9, 2020
Great job by coaches and players/ parents from all over the state. Our guys were there to represent as well. @GameTimeCT @notredamewh #letusplayCT pic.twitter.com/UgDZ19fhN5
— NDWH Football (@NDWHfb) September 9, 2020
We had so many kids there I didn’t see them all!! #letusplayct pic.twitter.com/xdeJ5wLnc7
— NDWH Football (@NDWHfb) September 9, 2020
#letusplayCT #LetUsPlay #fearthefork @CoachTShea @GovNedLamont @CtGridiron @GameTimeCT @McFarland_Shawn pic.twitter.com/beazqIIIaK
— RyanBarker (@RBark3r) September 9, 2020
Nice showing of @fciac schools at the rally in Hartford #cthsfb pic.twitter.com/5SEHCWJPuT
— FWHS AD (@FwhsAD) September 9, 2020
@ciacsports @GovNedLamont #cthsfb pic.twitter.com/RKmtAR4gHW
— New Canaan Football (@NewCanaanFB) September 9, 2020
FYI, that’s what an ACTUAL peaceful protest looks like …
The controversy began on Aug. 13 when officials with the Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) issued a letter recommending that the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC) that oversees all high school sporting events reschedule the state’s high school football and volleyball games for the spring because of the coronavirus pandemic.
A day later, CIAC paused all conditioning activities and postponed the start of the state’s high school football season, which had originally been slated to begin Aug. 17.
After several rounds of discussions and negotiations, CIAC received permission to resume conditioning activities but was asked to take high school volleyball games outside and convert standard 11-on-11 high school football games to 7-on-7.
In response, last Friday CIAC decided to go ahead and just cancel the entire football season, provoking widespread anger.
“The Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference announced last week that it would not move forward with 11-on-11 football games after hearing from the Connecticut Department of Public Health that the agency considered it a high-risk activity and would not support the playing of those games,” local station WVIT reported.
The anger only heightened when, four days later, Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont, a Democrat, issued a statement recommending that high school football not resume until sometime early next year.
Gov. Ned Lamont addresses the HS football fervor: “I love football. …I know how important it is to families. I know how important it is to kids. I also know we want to do things safely.”
Suggests, perhaps, holding a football season “early next year as opposed to now.” #cthsfb pic.twitter.com/FIUdRY183p
— Sean Patrick Bowley (@SPBowley) September 8, 2020
It appears this was the last straw, as parents and students alike immediately began planning for a mass protest outside the State Capitol.
5 pm tomorrow evening, we take back our season. Remember to:
•Wear a mask
•Socially distance as much as absolutely possible
•bring team gear and posters!!!
Let’s make this one for the books.@ctdph @GovNedLamont @GameTimeCT @amityathletics #letusplayCT
— 𝘾𝙖𝙢𝙚𝙧𝙤𝙣 𝙇𝙪𝙘𝙞𝙖𝙣𝙤 (@cameronluciano_) September 8, 2020
Over 1,000 parents, players, coaches and fans reportedly wound up showing up, all of them chanting “let us play” while hoisting up big “let us player” banners.
“Hopefully just that the Department of Health hears our voices and what we have to say. We’re obviously very passionate for us to play this fall, and hopefully we get it done,” one student athlete/player said from the Capitol.
When asked to describe how it’s been dealing with DPH and CIAC thus far, he replied, “It’s been a grueling process. First, the season got cancelled, then it was back on and then it got cancelled again.”
After speaking at the #cthsfb rally in Hartford, Southington’s Brady Lafferty shares his thoughts on trying to back football back to Connecticut. pic.twitter.com/CtpMd0VjK7
— Greg Lederer (@glederernews) September 9, 2020
The young man isn’t alone in feeling frustrated. Kids in plenty of other Democrat-led states are faring with the same coronavirus fear-mongering.
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, is planning to veto a bill that would allow each school to decide for itself whether or not to hold sporting events this season.
However, unlike in Connecticut, kids in Pennsylvania have Republicans in power working diligently to save their football seasons.
“House Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff, R-Centre County, issued a statement on Thursday saying at its first opportunity, the House will attempt to override the Democratic governor’s planned veto of House Bill 2787, otherwise referred to as the ‘Let them Play’ bill,” The Patriot-News reported.
“The bill drew strong bipartisan support in both the House and Senate, where it passed in each chamber with enough votes to exceed the two-thirds majority needed to override a veto. It passed the Senate on Wednesday by a vote of 39-11. It passed the House last week by a vote of 155-47.”
This seems to just show that you get what you vote for. When you vote for Democrats, you get controlling, oppressive sports bans. But when you vote for Republicans, you get a chance to play.
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