By Ray Hamill — A grassroots movement known as “Let Them Play CA” is planning a series of rallies throughout the state on Friday in an effort to pressure Governor Gavin Newsom and state health officials to allow high school and youth sports resume competition.
Youth sports in California have been essentially shut down since last March, while the majority of states around the country have seen a gradual return over the past few months.
“Let Them Play CA” now boasts more than 30,000 members, including frustrated athletes, parents and coaches.
According to the movement’s Facebook page, “This community is here for those in CA who have lost out on their sports seasons due to arbitrary shutdowns. While 40 other states have allowed youth sports to take place, we are still doing NOTHING to help our youth. Where is the leadership? It is TIME for accountability from our officials. It is TIME for change. It is TIME to play!”
The Friday rallies will take place from 4 to 5:30 p.m. at more than 100 different locations around the state, including one in Ferndale.
As of Wednesday night, the Ferndale rally is the only one planned locally, although frustration has been building among student athletes and parents throughout the North Coast and at just about every high school.
The Ferndale rally will be held outside City Hall and supporters are being encouraged to show up with non-political signs to show their support for the movement.
Organizers of the rallies are asking for participants to be peaceful and to wear school colors and masks, while maintaining social distancing.