CONNECTICUT, USA — Update 5:55 pm: Hundreds of people gathered at the capitol building in Hartford Wednesday evening, rallying to restart the high school football season.
Players and parents were seen cheering and yelling, "Let them play, let them play!."
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Connecticut football players along with their families and coaches are putting pressure on the state to allow high school football this fall and on Tuesday lawmakers called on the governor to sit down with the CIAC and DPH to make it happen.
Governor Lamont addressed this issue during his press conference. He said he’d love to see a football season this school year, but it’ll most likely be at the beginning of next year- not this fall as student-athletes hoped for.
Student-athletes, their families, and coaches have been fighting the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference's decision to cancel high school football and now that pushback is coming from the capital as well. Members of the GOP and Democrats addressed separate letters to the governor, calling on him to meet with the Department of Public Health and the CIAC to find a way to allow the season.
“Here's our guidance, here's what we think makes the most sense, but if it’d be helpful to sit down with public health and football I’d be happy to do that,” Lamont said.
CIAC has decided to cancel this fall’s football season, following DPH’s COVID-19 recommendations. Now student-athletes are asking both to reconsider the decision as other contact sports are being allowed.
Just this past weekend student-athletes from around the state held a rally in West Hartford protesting the decision to cancel the season and a petition on change.org formally asking the CIAC and DPH to allow students to have 11 on 11 football in Connecticut this fall has garnered more than 30,000 signatures. Although, Lamont said at the end of the day it's up to the individual leagues.
“States didn’t do it but their local leagues made the determination themselves that it’s probably worth pausing now, keeping going with the practice and conditioning and hopefully starting something up in February and March,’ Lamont said.
Hundreds of student-athletes, their families, and coaches are expected to turn out here at the capitol Wednesday afternoon for another rally, hoping to send the same message--they want their season back.