LETTER: Political football?
To the Editor:
Started in Washington, turning high school football into a political argument has reached Ridgefield.
Last week’s statement from Republican candidate Kim Healy starts with the conclusion “Let Them Play.” The premise, however, is that with elections approaching, making things seem normal outweighs public safety.
The idea of playing football as usual is flawed to start. Some students are home, others in school, few every day. How will practices be held? With flag football and reduced squads required even as football proceeds, how will players showcase their talents? With parent voting advised, would that be parents of players? High school parents? How would voting happen? Most of all, how would football be played safely?
The statement considers none of these, because football is not the point. The goal is calling the governor’s decisions “arbitrary” and Democrats “unwilling to do the right thing.” Democracy is threatened, notwithstanding that each of the accused was democratically elected. Also charged with treating football players like “losers,” the only “losers” here are categorically “sore losers.”
Most offensive is ignoring that schools are challenged enough with trying to educate students and function in a pandemic. For candidate Healy, education is another avenue for political overstatement and the pandemic is over.
No football-related outbreaks of COVID-19 — yet. Outbreaks, of course, take weeks to develop. On the Patch news site, the candidate’s statement appears alongside multiple reports of the virus spreading to younger people and Connecticut high schools. Patch also reports Gov. Lamont’s 65 percent approval rating for handling the coronavirus, and the president’s 30 percent rating.
Regarding high school football, a seasoned sports reporter finds, “Risking the health of athletes, coaches, officials, parents and community members is not worth it.”
But then, he’s not trying to score political points or nail down the football parent vote.
Peaceable Street, Sept. 19