Lawmakers highlight negative impact sports ban has had on student athletes

"The chaos of the pandemic has been hard on everyone, but especially the kids in Michigan,” Rep Timothy Beson said Thursday
House Oversight Committee on HS Sport ban
Posted at 4:37 PM, Feb 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-04 19:58:11-05

LANSING, Mich. — On Tuesday lawmakers convened a House Oversight Committee hearing to discuss the negative impact the ban on high school contact sports has had on student athletes, and a resolution calling on the State to overturn it.

Rep. Timothy Beson spoke in support of the resolution at the hearing held Tuesday morning in the Anderson House Office Building in front of just a handful of spectators.

RELATED: Pressure mounting on state to allow return of high school winter sports

“The simple truth is state government should be helping our children through the situation, not making it worse. The chaos of the pandemic has been hard on everyone but especially the kids in Michigan,” Rep. Beson said.

“There is very little data available defending the suspension of our youth sports, but we have heard stories after stories about the way it's hurting our kids.”

Rep. Beson was the only one to speak on the proposed resolution, with lawmakers posing questions.

“They are seeing grades slip, kids suffering from isolation and far too many signs of depression and other mental health struggles,” Rep. Beson said.

RELATED: Athletes express concerns over winter sports postponement

But, by the time the meeting was underway, word had gotten out about Governor Whitmer's plan to announce the return of contact sports later in the day.

Rep. Dave LaGrand said, “You probably saw it in the news this morning: the Governor is about to announce that she's going to do exactly what you're asking--you know that right?”

While Rep. Beson said he was aware of the rumors, he asked to move forward with the resolution.

“Rep. LeGrand, I heard about this, right. But in my business… I don't believe hearsay; I like to see it with my own eyes. I'm not here to wait for the wrong person to say it's gonna happen,” Rep. Beson responded.

When asked if he was okay with tabling the discussion until after the Governor's announcement, he declined.

In the end, the resolution was approved. It will now move on to the full House.

With the Governor's announcement Thursday afternoon, the ban on contact practices and competitions in wrestling, competitive cheer, boys' basketball and girls' basketball will be lifted starting Feb. 8.

Masks will be required unless incompatible with competition, in which case participants must be regularly tested for COVID-19.

The order remains in effect through Monday, March 29.

READ MORE: Governor, MDHHS lift ban on winter contact sports

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