Michigan 'Let Them Play' Files Suit Against Gretchen Whitmer Administration over Winter Sports Ban

Michigan 'Let Them Play' Files Suit Against Gretchen Whitmer
Administration over Winter Sports Ban 1

A group of Michigan student athletes and parents made good on a promise  Tuesday to sue Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s (D) administration if she did not immediately begin winter school sports.

Let Them Play Michigan filed suit against Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Director Elizabeth Hertel alleging the bans on contact sports, including basketball, hockey, wrestling, and competitive cheer, “are unconstitutional because they deny students equal protection under the law, due process and the right to free assembly, among other things,” Bridge reported.

The suit is a step the coalition, which includes the Michigan Amateur Youth Hockey League, “would have preferred not to take,” attorney Peter Ruddell said.

“Unfortunately, there is no other place for citizens to appeal a decision that restricts the parents’ and student athletes’ ability to pursue a key component of their public education.”

The plaintiffs also include Brian and Rona Dethloff, “whose son, a Mona Shores hockey player, died of suicide Jan. 18,” according to WOOD TV.

“Dethloff’s parents have publicly said they believe delays in the winter hockey season, coupled with their son’s ongoing mental health issues, pushed him to a breaking point and contributed to his death,” the station reported.

“This is for the best interest of the student-athletes. They need to be on the court for their mental health, their emotional health, their physical health and their long-term education and career pathways,” Ruddell said.

Fox 17 reported Michigan’s announced February 1 start date was pushed back “at least” to February 21, and Whitmer offered no commitment that a season could begin then.

On Saturday, over 2,000 athletes, parents, and supporters rallied on the Capitol lawn demanding sports resume.

Let Them Play Michigan organizer Jayme McElvany told The Kyle Olson Show that the purpose of her group is to show students that they “are being heard.”

“We will not stop fighting for them and they’re not ignored — because they feel completely ignored right now,” she said.

She said the uncertainty over being able to play is putting many kids on an “emotional roller coaster.”

“Can somebody cut these kids a break?” McElvany asked after detailing several messages student athletes have sent her. “It’s disgusting what we’re doing to these kids.”

Kyle Olson is a reporter for Breitbart News. He is also host of “The Kyle Olson Show,” syndicated on Michigan radio stations on Saturdays–download full podcast episodes. Follow him on Parler.

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