Posted on September 8, 2020 by Greg MacKinnon
Hartford – State Representative David T. Wilson (R-Litchfield) signed onto a letter asking Governor Lamont to reconsider a recent announcement that would not allow high schools across Connecticut to have football programs this fall. To read the letter, click here. While it was not made clear what exact metrics were used in the decision-making process, the official announcement came from the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Council (CIAC) on Thursday, September 3.
“The knee jerk reaction to remove high school football from the menu of available high school athletics unfairly segments many of our Connecticut athletes by taking them off the field. Deeming one sport to be played over another is illogical considering every athlete is facing the barriers put forth by COVID-19,” said Rep. Wilson. “Consequently, every expert in their respective sport, meaning players, parents, and coaches, have already instituted safe ways to play. So far, it’s worked, and I question the reasoning behind the governor’s decision to shut down the football season for so many Juniors and Seniors who will not get these high school years back.”
Rep. Wilson was joined by almost every member of the House Republican Caucus in asking Gov. Lamont to review his far-reaching decision. Rep. Wilson went on to explain that this is the very reason the legislature must be included in the state’s reopening plans moving forward.
“Just last week I was at the Capitol rallying for the people to regain their voice, so that we all can have a say in the reopening plans. The unilateral decision to cancel the football season is an unfortunate example of why not allowing lawmakers, parents, or even coaches to weigh-in on this decision is not how a representative democracy works,” explained Rep. Wilson. “We seem to constantly be ignored by this administration. At first there was a cloistered decision to create a reopening task force, which was primarily formed by a hand-picked group of Gov. Lamont’s previous business partners and friends. Then there was the transition of our state’s reopening power to a highly paid, out-of-state consulting firm. And just recently, the legislative majority Democrats voted to allow Gov. Lamont to continue his expansive rule. It is unfortunate that the voice of the citizenry is not a higher priority to the administration.”
According to Rep. Wilson, football practices had been safely going on for weeks. Many sports, including football, had modified their practice schedules to adhere to new safety precautions in order to limit the chance of a COVID-19 outbreak. While football is unique in that it requires full contact during games, most of the preparation and conditioning does not require athletes to engage in contact outside of competition.
As of Tuesday afternoon, Rep. Wilson and his colleagues had not received a response from Gov. Lamont’s office. However, there has been an outpouring of support for schools to continue to safely hold a football season. Over the Labor Day holiday, there were several rallies and virtual events held in order to draw awareness to the governor’s opposition to allowing a football season to go forward in Connecticut.