Henry’s Huddle: High school athletes deserve their sports seasons

Professional leagues disregarded coronavirus safety measures while teens were barred from playing for months

By Henry Murray, Sports Editor

Average citizens have not been able to attend local gyms for months while NBA players play indoors and do not socially distance, revealing a double standard for health and safety expectations regarding sports.

While high school athletics were banned up until late January, professional athletes have been competing since spring 2020.

Gov. Gavin Newsom only lifted the shelter-in-place order and permitted high school athletics to resume depending on the severity and prominence of the coronavirus in the given high school’s county on Jan. 25, while professional sports teams continue to play without masks despite millions of Californians socially distancing.

The 6 feet rule that separates non-household members in public can mitigate chances of spreading the coronavirus is one of the main safety measures set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

It does not make sense that professional football players can tackle one another without masks while high school golf, soccer and tennis teams have been prohibited from competing.

There has undoubtedly been confusion regarding what is accepted and what is considered “dangerous” to the health and safety of a California athlete.

Unfortunately, these contradictions resemble a sad aspect of society. Money is a driving factor when it comes to decision-making regarding participation in sports.

There is a correlation between physical activity and mental well-being, according to studies by the National Institutes of Health.

The rate of teenagers visiting emergency rooms in San Francisco has skyrocketed due to mental health-related issues, according to ABC News.

While teenagers suffer from a lack of access to athletic activity, the professional sports industrial complex continues to make billions of dollars of revenue with impunity.

Although California is making progress toward allowing high schoolers to participate in athletics, the lack of consistency in regulating professional sports to the same standard as student athletes is disappointing.

While Newsom dined at French Laundry and while Steve Balmer, the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, watched the advertisement revenue flood in, California teens sat at home wondering when they would get to play.