Sen. Zorn introduces ‘Let Them Play’ resolution

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Dale Zorn has introduced a resolution urging Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to lift the suspension on winter high school contact sports and allow play to resume immediately.

“This is about standing up for our student athletes and the positive physical and mental health benefits that participating in sports provides our children,” said Zorn, R-Ida. Michigan schools and athletes have taken preventive steps to stay safe and worked hard to prepare for a shortened season — only to see their seasons delayed another 20 days with little evidence that they are major drivers in spreading COVID-19.

“Nearly every state, and all our neighboring states, are allowing their students to participate in winter sports and they have not seen significant outbreaks. Michigan should offer our students the same opportunity to play.”

Senate Resolution 7 says, “according to the executive director of the Michigan High School Athletic Association, the negative rate for over 30,000 rapid COVID-19 tests conducted over the last three months with fall sports was 99.8%.”

It also says that according to a national survey of more than 3,000 high school and college students regarding the coronavirus, 87% reported stress and anxiety, while 57% reported that their mental health had worsened. In addition, experts are concerned about potential further increases in youth suicide and argue that it is critically important for teenagers to have regular contact with their peers.

“Allowing students to participate in high school sports would help reduce social isolation and could significantly improve their mental health,” Zorn said. “Let them play.”