The “Let Them Play Humboldt” movement has sent a letter to all of the H-DNL schools ahead of Wednesday’s athletic directors meeting in an effort to get the league to reverse its decision to temporarily ban all spectators from sporting events.
Last week, the league superintendents voted 6-4 to implement a no spectator mandate for two weeks because of concerns over the recent spike in COVID cases.
That decision, however, has not gone down well with many in the local sports community who are asking for an immediate reversal and have had more than 2,000 people sign a petition in support of such a move.
“Our community is saddened and upset by the decision you made last week to suspend spectators for winter sport events,” the letter read. “We have received over 2,000 signatures as of 3:30 pm on Tuesday from the Bring Back HDN League Spectators petition.
“Please listen to your community stakeholders and immediately reverse your decision and allow spectators to return to gyms.”
The letter, along with the petition, was sent out on Tuesday to all the H-DNL schools, as well as school ADs, school principals, league commissioner Jack Lakin and all the local superintendents.
The full letter reads as follows …
“Dear HDN League Schools,
“Our community is saddened and upset by the decision you made last week to suspend spectators for winter sport events. We have received over 2,000 signatures as of 3:30 pm on Tuesday from the Bring Back HDN League Spectators petition (attached please find the signatures and the comments downloaded earlier today).
“Please listen to your community stakeholders and immediately reverse your decision and allow spectators to return to gyms.
“We understand that it is a challenging time for schools and that your intention was to reduce covid transmission. In reality, though, it will not have this result. We would like for you to reframe your thinking about gyms. They are a safe space. They are large. Spectators are in masks. Most adults sit in family pods and naturally distance themselves in the stands. Your students are in school together all day anyway in much smaller spaces than a gym. Athletes test twice weekly. We can do this. We can get spectators in gyms safely. Bringing back spectators will also be positive for the social, emotional, and mental well being of our students and families.
“You cannot stop your community from gathering socially, riding in cars together, from going to restaurants, to bars, to casinos, to movie theaters, to parties, to others’ homes. This is where transmission is occurring. We want you to embrace that masked student and adult spectators watching a game in a large gym is a much safer environment with a lower likelihood of covid transmission than most alternatives. By not allowing spectators, you are unintentionally encouraging your families and students to gather together in smaller homes and restaurants maskless to watch games (this has already happened).
“We believe in you. We believe that you will prioritize the social and emotional well being of your students and families and your community. Our kids and community have been through too much. The season is short. We know the HDN League is meeting tomorrow. Please act quickly.
Shannon Simoni and Nancy Vizenor
Let Them Play Humboldt