The University of Michigan is pausing all sports for two weeks, but the athletes want to have a say in the matter.
In other words, the athletes want to play, and they said as much in a statement.
“The student-athletes at the University of Michigan recognize the severity of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and have done everything in our control to prevent the spread of this virus to the best of our ability,” the statement read. “Recently, 5 confirmed cases of the B.1.1.7 strain have been found in the athletic department, which has triggered a shutdown of all athletic-related activity and the closure of all athletic facilities by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services in conjunction with the Washtenaw County Health Department.
“While we, the student-athletes at the University of Michigan, understand the severity of this virus and take it very seriously, we believe that this mandate from the MDHHS is unnecessary and should not only be reconsidered, but overturned.”
The statement went on to read that the “physical and mental health of every Michigan student-athlete is at risk due to the recent mandate set in place.”
Michigan decided to pause all athletics Sunday for at least 14 days after a recommendation from the state health department.
“Canceling competitions is never something we want to do, but with so many unknowns about this variant of COVID-19, we must do everything we can to minimize the spread among student-athletes, coaches, staff, and to the student-athletes at other schools,” Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel said in a statement.
We’ll keep an eye on where this goes from here. The athletes themselves have spoken.
“These student-athletes have gone above and beyond in order to earn the right to have a season in the midst of a pandemic,” the statement read.