The Democrat governor of Michigan is being sued by several parties over her ban of contact sports at the high school level, which was recently extended until February 21.
Let Them Play, Inc., a non-profit, along with the Michigan Amateur Youth Hockey League and players and parents of high school athletes, brought suit Wednesday against Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D), according to a legal complaint.
Those groups want the courts to allow winter sports like hockey and basketball, which Whitmer banned by executive order, to be allowed to resume.
In part, the lawsuit argues that Whitmer is arbitrarily discriminating against high school athletes, as professional sports in the state have been allowed to continue to play. Professional sports teams are required to adhere to enhanced COVID-19 guidelines laid out by Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS). Adhering to such guidelines would be impossible for high schools and their athletes.
“Unfortunately, there is no other place for citizens to appeal a decision that restricts the parents’ and the student-athletes’ ability to pursue a key component of their public education,” plaintiffs’ attorney Peter Ruddell said, according to Associated Press. “The ban on athletic practice and competitions has restricted the ability of these and many other student-athletes from achieving their career pathway — competing, practicing and potentially gaining a college scholarship.”
Saturday, thousands showed up to the Michigan Capitol to protest the contact sports ban at a “Let Them Play” rally.
Photos showed a huge crowd.
“A massive turnout at the state capitol today for the ‘Let Them Play’ rally against the postponement of winter sports,” FOX 17’s Zach Harig reported.
— Zach Harig (@FOX17Zach) January 30, 2021
Whitmer has drawn the ire of many for her heavy-handedness in attempting to control the COVID-19 pandemic. Michigan has endured perhaps the most stringent COVID-19 restrictions.
Last year, she attempted to ban gatherings in private residences via executive order.
“[A]ll individuals currently living within the State of Michigan are ordered to stay at home or at their place of residence. Subject to the same exceptions, all public and private gatherings of any number of people occurring among persons not part of a single household are prohibited,” the order said.
Eventually, that order was deemed unconstitutional by the Michigan Supreme Court.
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