CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WVVA) Protesters accused Gov. Jim Justice, (R) West Virginia, of moving back the goal post when it comes to high school Winter sports on Sunday.
A crowd gathered at the Capitol to protest a decision by the Governor to move back the start of Winter sports to January 11, 2020.
Some student-athletes who turned out to the rally said the season could make or break their college prospects.
“It makes me feel like my life is being taken away from me,” said basketball player Elizabeth Blankenship.
At his daily press conferences, Gov. Justice has repeatedly called the decisions ‘life and death’ when it comes to curbing the Coronavirus. But the students whose seasons are being cut short took issue with the Governor’s original map plan being tossed out.
“I feel like it can go both ways,” said Blankenship. “The suicide rate from Covid has gone up too. It’s more than just COVID deaths we’re talking about.”
The protest comes as the state prepares for a possible post-Thanksgiving surge in cases, with more people moving activities inside where the virus can easily spread. But parents at Sunday’s protest are asking the Governor to consider another risk.
“You have people who say that extracurricular activities don’t matter. But what happens when these kids have nothing to do and the next top story is is the high rate of drug abuse among teenagers. Athletics is what keeps them grounded,” said Mary Mullins, the parent of a wrestler at River View High School.
Gov. Justice has another press conference scheduled for Monday, when there is a possibility for another update on the Winter sports season.