Ohio State’s Justin Fields starts petition to restore Big Ten football
After the Big Ten athletic conference canceled the upcoming football season, student-athletes respond with a petition to let the sport go on.
Though the Big Ten football season has officially been canceled, some players hope there is still a chance to gear up and get on the field.
READ MORE: Report: Big 10, Pac 12 to cancel fall football season
Star quarterback Justin Fields of the Ohio State University Buckeyes, has launched a petition requesting the Big Ten reinstate the 2020 football season. The decision was made as the looming threat of coronavirus continues to shift the sports world norm.
theGrio reported that Fields, along with University of Lousiville receiver Dez Fitzpatrick, University of Oklahoma quarterback Spencer Rattler, and Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence and more started using the hashtag #WeWantToPLay expressing their desire to push through the pandemic.
Now the Buckeye QB has turned to a digital campaign in hopes of change.
“This cause is close to my heart – please sign:,” he says, sharing the petition to Twitter.
READ MORE: University of Utah suspends football coach for texting a racial slur
According to the official MoveOn landing page, Fields demands the decision to play or to sit out be placed on the athletes themselves on an individual basis.
“We, the football players of the Big Ten, together with the fans and supporters of college football, request that the Big Ten Conference immediately reinstate the 2020 football season.
Allow Big Ten players/teams to make their own choice as to whether they wish to play or opt-out this fall season. Allow Big Ten players/teams who choose to opt-out of playing a fall season to do so without penalty or repercussion,” the petition reads.
According to ESPN, some parents also hope the Big Ten reconsiders the decision. The outlet reports that parents of Ohio State, Iowa, and Penn State players asked the Big Ten conference to reevaluate the cancellation in multiple letters, taken directly to conference offices.
“The Big Ten had months to develop a strategic plan but instead chose to leave it up to each individual school creating confusion, inconsistency and no plan of action,” reads the letter from parents of Iowa players, according to ESPN.
“There is time to fix the wrongdoings and come out as leaders. We strongly encourage the Big Ten to reconsider playing the fall college football season, develop a plan of meaningful action, and letting these young adults be included in the decision-making process.”
This written statement was hand-delivered to conference headquarters in Chicago, requesting a meeting with commissioner Kevin Warren, reports ESPN.
Heather Dinich, ESPN senior writer, shares the letter from OSU and Iowa football parents on social media.
Some parents issued their thoughts directly to the outlet. “It’s unacceptable,” says Corey Teague. His son, Master Teague III, plays running back for Ohio State.
“It’s something that needs more explanation because when you go in a certain direction and days later it changes, and no one has spoken to anyone else, and players weren’t able to be involved in this decision, and the protocols that were put in by Ohio State were very successful.
He added: “It’s unfortunate and I don’t know if it’s shortsightedness there, lack of leadership, but it’s definitely something that needs to be rectified and more dialogue needs to happen. It’s just a very messy situation, and we want to clean it up.”
The Big Ten Conference has not released a statement since the official cancellation.
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