Hundreds Protest at State Capitol Over Decision to Cancel Football Season

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Hundreds of players, coaches, and parents gathered at the State Capitol in Hartford Wednesday evening to protest the decision to cancel full-contact football for the season.

The Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference announced last week that it would not move forward with 11-on-11 football games after hearing from the Connecticut Department of Public Health that the agency considered it a high-risk activity and would not support the playing of those games.

Photos: Hundreds Protest at State Capitol Over Decision to Cancel Football Season

A similar rally was held in West Hartford on Sunday.

Many critics of the decision have argued that the state's COVID-19 infection rate is one of the lowest in the country and that other contact sports are being allowed to play this fall.

Last week, the CIAC said it would work to come up with a solution that might mitigate some of the risks, but any plan would not include 11-on-11 games. The Department of Public Health said it will look at any new proposals from the CIAC.

Gov. Ned Lamont said Tuesday that he would like to see a football season possibly played in February and March and that he would be willing to sit down with the Department of Public Health and football leagues to discuss it. He called for a meeting between DPH and the CIAC to be held Friday during an interview Wednesday evening.

The CIAC has said they would not push the season to the spring.

On Wednesday, members of the Senate Democratic Caucus sent a letter to CIAC executive director Greg Lungarini and acting commissioner of the Department of Public Health Deirdre Gifford asking them to explore ways they may be able to work out a plan to play football safely this fall or in the spring.

The lawmakers said they have heard from constituents who have asked them to help find a way to have a season.

"We feel an extra sense of urgency on this matter as medical doctors have told us of increased anxiety and depression among children, and we believe it's imperative that we look out for students' mental health as well as their physical health," the letter said.

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