Let them play

Student-athletes deserve to play the game they love during a pandemic 

Let them play, let all athletes play. Athletes deserve to play their sports, even if it is during a pandemic. Athletes, particularly Minnesota athletes, were told that they will not be allowed to play fall sports games.

The Minnesota State High School League debated on whether they should let athletes play in the fall of 2020. Minnesota athletes were originally told they could have a certain number of practices and then have their games in the spring of 2021. On Sept. 21, the Minnesota State High School League Board of Directors decided to resume volleyball and football.

After seeing many, “Let Them Play MN,” posts on Facebook, it finally ended. I was seeing parents and athletes posting about how excited and overjoyed they were to get back to doing what they love.

Athletes will begin a sport as a young kid, and then senior year comes and it is taken away from them. It is not fair, pandemic, or not. Athletes shouldn’t have the game they love taken away from them. They put in way too much work and money and they deserve to play.

Personally, I and many other athletes have been saddened by not being able to play spring sports. I struggled both mentally and physically with not being able to play the game I love the most, softball. There were many others around me that had tears in their eyes after hearing they won’t be able to play in the spring.

Being an athlete takes a lot of practice, hard work, dedication and motivation. On top of that, not being able to play a sport that they put so much work into, is heartbreaking. Athletes deserve to play.

No matter where the athletes are, they should be allowed to play. They deserve to. Taking away the sport because of a pandemic is not okay. If athletes feel comfortable playing sports and knowing the consequences, they should be allowed to play, whether fans are allowed or not. Sports bring kids so much joy, don’t take it away from them.

Looking back at being a student in high school, I realize some of my favorite memories were on the softball field. It wasn’t even the game that made it so fun, it was the bus rides, the softball cheers and the pre-game jams. Being an athlete in 2020 may look a little different, as they may have to wear a mask. In my opinion, it is so worth wearing a mask. Wouldn’t you rather play the game and wear a mask rather than not be allowed to play at all?

My only hope for high school athletes and 2020-2021 seniors is that they can play the games they love all year-round. Whether it is Minnesota or North Dakota athletes, they deserve to play.

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