Campaign to re-start winter high school sports intensifies

Posted at 5:25 PM, Jan 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-28 17:37:11-05

(WXYZ) — The full-court press is intensifying to re-start high school sports.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer sidelined some 200,000 high school and junior high school athletes because of COVID-19 safety concerns until February 21. But now she tells 7 Action News that could be moved up.

The House Oversight Committee today took testimony from John Thompson a member of the Michigan High School Athletic Association Board and the Brighton High School Athletic Director. He says when the date was set there was no input taken and no notice from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

Thompson also told committee members keeping sports in lockdown is doing more harm than good.

Rep. David La Grand, a Democrat from Grand Rapids, raised the issue about the new UK variant that has caused the University of Michigan to lock down the campus so that it doesn’t spread, and, by not waiting for the vaccine, said this is like running a marathon and setting yourself on fire before reaching the finish line.

Republicans control the Michigan Legislature and defended their actions holding up the Governor’s appointments and possibly holding up school funding until in-person school resumes.

The new House Speaker Rep. Jason Wentworth said kids are not being held hostage, they are “incentivizing” the action.

Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey said he’s encouraged the Governor talked in her State of the State Address last night about working together when he said they’ve had only one meeting since last March where they’ve been able to have any input.

The Governor tells 7 Action News it’s not about her changing her mind it’s about doing what’s safe.