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Pritzker Keeps School Sports On The Sidelines

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Amid growing calls to allow contact sports to resume this fall, Illinois’ governor Tuesday appeared to double down on postponement of the seasons.

J.B. Pritzker said it’s not a political decision. 

“I know that there are people who would like me simply to make a political decision to allow people to endanger themselves,” he told reporters.

Sports like football, volleyball and boys’ soccer has been pushed to a possible spring schedule due to COVID-19.  Several other Midwest states have made decisions to let the games go on.

“And if they’ve decided to endanger children and families in those states, by allowing certain contact sports to take place, that’s their decision. That’s not something that’s good for the families…the children of Illinois,” Pritzker said.

“Look, I’m not willing to sacrifice people’s lives or their health.  Neither the children nor their parents who would be affected also.”

The governor said he will continue to make decisions based on advice from doctors and researchers.  A few fall sports, such as cross country and tennis, are currently allowed, even though some of the seasons have been shortened. 

There have been protests and rallies across the state in recent days pushing for the restrictions on fall sports to be lifted.

The Illinois High School Association announced last week that it sent a letter to the governor asking to resume control over determining the resumption of IHSA sports and activities. 

Sean Crawford is the News Director at NPR Illinois in Springfield.

COVID-19 is a rapidly evolving story, and we are working hard to bring you the most up-to-date information. We recommend checking the Coronavirus Information Center for the most recent numbers and guidance.

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