VIDEO: Pennsylvania Lawmaker Makes Poignant Argument for High School Football

Videos by OutKick

As you’re surely aware, there are heated debates all over the country about whether there should be football season this Fall. We’ve seen this at the college level where the Big Ten and Pac-12 are not playing but the SEC, ACC, and Big 12 are thus far holding out hope. In Pennyslvania, governor Tom Wolf has recommended a shutdown for fall sports; in this video, you can see state representative Jesse Topper, who has coached high school football in Bedford, Pa., arguing vociferously to preserve the season:

“When I hear things like it’s not worth the risk — first of all as a coach I’ve had the opportunity to watch this football team at Bedford prepare for this year,” he said. “We’ve told them — if you wear your mask, if you social distance at meetings, split your time in the weight room. They’ve done all these things. We’ve said if you follow all these protocols you will have the opportunity and play. To now come back to them and say you’ve done everything right but you know what we still don’t have the will to let that happen … I think back to those words it’s not worth the risk.”

“Most of us have either played or been a part of athletics,” Topper continued. “We understand that there’s inherent risk to what we do. That’s why there’s an ambulance that sits out by the football fields on Friday night. We know that there’s risk. But always that risk/benefit/reward ratio has been left up to the families. To determine is this worth the physical risks. Quite frankly, I don’t see any difference in that now. The governor himself has said, when he was out at protests in the streets of Harrisburg, he said when asked if he followed his own protocols that he didn’t because he thought the cause was worth the risk. We cannot just allow one person in Pennsylvania to discern for everyone which causes are worth the risk and which are not. That decision needs to be left up to parents and families. Is it worth the risk?”

He concluded: “But at the end of the day, if we’re going to leave that decision only up to one person, then we have a problem that’s far greater than Covid-19.”



Written by Ryan Glasspiegel

Ryan Glasspiegel grew up in Connecticut, graduated from University of Wisconsin-Madison, and lives in Chicago. Before OutKick, he wrote for Sports Illustrated and The Big Lead. He enjoys expensive bourbon and cheap beer.


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  1. As a PA resident whose kids can’t go back to school, I attest that he is indeed the absolute worst.. although he is slightly behind his Secretary of Health, Rachel Levine, who removed her mother from an assisted living facility the week she made a decision those facilities must take Covid patients, which led to thousands of deaths.

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