Parents sue Illinois Gov. Pritzker over winter sports cancellation due to COVID

Pritzker says that youth sports will ultimately be back but now the risks are too great

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Parents are suing the governor of Illinois for canceling winter sports.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker and the Illinois High School Association are being slammed with a lawsuit for canceling winter sports. Four parents of Illinois high school athletes filed the suit on Monday in La Salle County Court, per Chicago Sun-Times.

Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Public Health announced in October that winter sports like basketball, to low and high-risk sports will be on hold and resume in the spring.

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“Professional sports and college sports have significant resources for protecting their players,” said Pritzker, in response to the suit on Wednesday. “For creating social distance, for example, by having multiple locker rooms…by making sure they have plexiglass everywhere that they need to separate the players…to test them on a much more regular basis than an individual high school or district could afford. That’s why there is a difference.”

The suit hopes to prevent Pritzker and IHSA from canceling the sports season. It states the action to cancel “is an unconstitutional violation of the Plaintiffs right to equal protection under the Constitution of the State of Illinois.” 

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Illinois governor J. B. Pritzker (Chris Sweda-Pool via Getty Images)

Trevor Till’s mother Lisa Moore is the lead of the suit. Till took his own life in October and reports say it was due to isolation because of COVID-19 restrictions. He was a freshman at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, per Chicago 5.

According to the suit, “Trevor was devastated that he didn’t have his senior year track and pole vaulting season. The final blow was when winter sports were canceled. Trevor committed suicide on Oct. 21, 2020, a proximate cause of which was the Governor Pritzker’s restrictions on high school sports programs.”

But Pritzker says the cancelation of youth sports won’t last forever.

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“We aren’t saying these sports won’t be played,” said Pritzker in October. “We are delaying the play of these sports. We are saying do training, do conditioning. Even the high-risk sports, there are things they can do. It’s not like we are shutting the sports down. But these are all being moved into the spring with the hope that we will be seeing vaccines and treatments that will be effective.”

The IHSA has not yet comment on the suit.

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