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‘Let Them Play’ rally outside state capitol in Frankfort

Published: Aug. 24, 2020 at 12:16 PM EDT
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - Several dozen parents and high school student-athletes are holding a rally at the state capital to push for the right to play this fall.

They say they are concerned, despite the state high school athletic association voting to start the season next month, it will be taken away from them by the governor and state health officials.

They began gathering on the capital steps around 10 Monday morning. They want to send a message, and it’s simple: let them play.

This comes in the wake of the KHSAA Board of Control voting to keep the start of sports, albeit delayed from what a normal year would be, to early to mid-September. But then, Governor Beshear said in one of his daily briefings last week that the decision surprised him.

Adults, parents and athletes from football, soccer, cheerleading, band and various other sports and activities are gathered in Frankfort Monday.

“Let’s continue on. Let’s go on to practice, go on to tryouts, let’s go on with somewhat of a season that we can have,” said Brian Young who wants his son to be able to play soccer.

“We all recognize the risk and we recognize the risk that we may not last. It’s just, give us an opportunity, at the end of the day, what is missing in our Kentucky right now, they just need companionship,” said Dawne Perkins, Lexington parent.

Just about everyone out at the protest was wearing masks and say what they are doing is to simply be respectful, not to downplay the virus, but to say with other states allowing high school sports with precautions and rules, they can do that, too.

During his Monday COVID-19 press conference, Gov. Beshear said the state will not overturn the decision by the KHSAA to allow fall sports. However, the governor said that does not mean he agrees with the decision made by the KHSAA.

Gov. Beshear is calling on all high school programs to ask for testing and put the students first over desires.

“What will be absolutely required moving forward, is absolute and full transparency,” Gov. Beshear said. “That’s in athletics, that’s overall in our school systems. People not only deserve to know, but you’re talking about what may be the long term health of students, and student athletes. So, no trying to hide positives. Everybody has to work with their local health departments. Whether or not there’s a big game coming up doesn’t mean you get to argue with somebody over how many people are quarantined. Don’t do that, and don’t try that. Not with the health of the kids that are on the line.”

Copyright 2020 WKYT. All rights reserved.

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