Last week, Crenshaw High School’s football season abruptly ended as a Los Angeles Unified School District mandate went into effect. The mandate requires that all students wanting to play sports must receive the COVID-19 vaccination.
The Crenshaw High School football team, five-time city champions, only had 13 of its players vaccinated. The school district’s mandate stipulates that football teams must be able to field 18 fully vaccinated players in order to compete.
Set to compete in the playoffs, Crenshaw High School had to forfeit its game, sending the opponent to the quarterfinals automatically.
Many of the Crenshaw players felt deflated after this abrupt season end, and some of the students lamented that their chances for football scholarships are now probably minimal.
“Yeah, playoffs, especially championship games, that’s really where everything gets seen, and that’s what I was hoping on,” one student said.
The coach of the team, Robert Garrett, was similarly disappointed. He had informed the school district the week before the canceled game that he was not going to have 18 kids, but was only told three days before the game that they would not be able to play. Coach Garrett said, “I played 15 kids. The other kids are there so they won’t be on the street. They’re there for social and emotional development.”
These mandates are an assault on parental rights and completely unnecessary, especially since most young people only have mild symptoms or are asymptomatic when they contract COVID-19, and fully vaccinated individuals are still contracting the virus and transmitting it to others.
In addition, these mandates are also impacting the futures of these young players.
For the vaccinated teens, we still don’t know what the long-term effects of the vaccination will be. Pharmaceutical companies are still recruiting participants for clinical trials, and the vaccine only went into distribution for teenagers within the past couple of months. We are already seeing a concerning trend of myocarditis among young, healthy males under the age of 20 who receive the COVID-19 vaccine, which is causing many parents to hesitate about vaccinating their children.
Some of the players might have felt coerced into receiving the vaccine in order to continue their sports careers. But for the players with parents urging caution and more research, as well as the vaccinated players, the dejection following the season end is crushing.
As Coach Garrett said, sports programs like his football team keep teenagers off of the streets and out of trouble, providing a safe and productive place for those children to build skills and enjoy the camaraderie of healthy teamwork.
We will never know what this specific mandate did to the potential football careers of these young players, but the radical tyrants behind this order must own the fact that they have completely violated parental rights and directly disadvantaged many young, hopeful players trying to create a better life for themselves.