‘Let Them Play California’ is a rapidly growing grassroots movement of coaches, players and parents with the intent to get Gov. Gavin Newsom’s attention in hopes of convincing him to allow a high school sports season in 2021.
On Friday, Jan. 15, just outside many high school campuses across the state of California, including in the Temecula Valley, rallies are being planned in unison to show that there is a growing need for sports to return for not only high school student athletes, but youth sports as well.
“This is about the kids and their mental health and how important that is,” Danielle Hurtado, who has a son that plays baseball at Murrieta Mesa High School, said. “We completely understand that this pandemic is deadly serious, but with sports being played all around the country, the athletes in high school are not spreading the virus at the rates that would cause sports to just shut down, like they have here in California.”
The California Interscholastic Federation said games for fall sports, like football and volleyball, will not begin until later in the year, assuming the color tier for sports designates it due to COVID-19, but many families are arguing that it is already safe enough for their children to play organized sports.
“Hopefully, this statewide rally will put some heat on the powers that be,” Amy Nett, a Great Oak baseball parent, said. “Student athletes have been playing all over the country without incident because their own state won’t let them play. The numbers just do not support the restrictions on our kids. Between Arizona, North Carolina and Texas, our son Aiden has been traveling a lot since June just to keep playing baseball competitively.”
Organizers of the rallies are asking participants to keep it peaceful, wear school colors, wear masks, practice social distancing and make signs showing support. Also, these rallies are not school organized events, therefore they will be held outside of the campuses and not on school grounds. The hashtag #LetThemPlayCA is being used across all social media platforms, for more information.
Below are some examples of virtual flyers being spread around the communities.
JP Raineri can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.