After a huge rally on the steps of the Capitol in Lansing, the 'Let Them Play' movement is going forward with a lawsuit against the state.

'Let Them Play' started as a rallying cry for high school athletes in Michigan after sports were shut down due to the pandemic. The first rally happened in the fall as schools were struggling with how to handle the constantly changing horizon. Eventually the state and MHSAA found a way to start fall sports, and finish them, despite a small pause during the playoffs.

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The most recent Let Them Play rally happened last weekend, and was quite a bit bigger than the first. This time the student athletes, coaches, and parents were rallying to let winter contact sports happen. The ruling from the MDHHS ordered that indoor contact sports would be put on hold, without any set starting date. This did not sit well with the Let Them Play supporters.

The movement has grown into a lawsuit against the MDHHS to overturn their decision to put winter contact sports on hold.

The lawsuit against the MDHHS is not being directly supported by the MHSAA, even though they will be directly impacted by whatever decision is made.

This is a hard issue to unpack for most of us, because it's based off of emotions more than anything. The Let Them Play crowd is passionately arguing that the mental health of all student athletes is being negatively impacted. The MDHHS is arguing that the overall health and safety of the kids is their top priority.

I think both sides have an absolute right to state their case, but one of the things that the Let Them Play crowd tends to overlook is the safety of the rest of the student body. We saw how many teams were forced to forfeit games during the football playoffs because of Covid cases. Those cases don't just impact the teams, it could potentially infect students who have nothing to do with sports. If both sides can come to an understanding that while sports is important, it might not be the most important, I think an agreement will be reached.

If this goes to court, there is a good chance that more harm is done than good.


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