Tell Gov. Walz how you feel! 651-201-3400
Tell Gov. Walz how you feel! 651-201-3400

Let Them Play MN Seeks Preliminary Injunction Against Mask Mandate, Spectator Restrictions, and Discrimination Against Youth Athletes

LET THEM PLAY MN SEEKS PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION AGAINST MASK MANDATE, SPECTATOR RESTRICTIONS, AND DISCRIMINATION AGAINST YOUTH ATHLETES

“Governor Walz and the Minnesota Department of Health singled out youth sports just for a talking point. Nobody should play politics with kids!” said Let Them Play Founder and Executive Director, Dawn Gillman.

Dassel, MN— Let Them Play MN, a grassroots organization of parents, coaches, referees, and athletes, filed a motion for preliminary injunction today in federal court, seeking immediate relief from the dangerous mask mandate and other restrictions on youth sports.

The motion shows that Governor Walz and the Minnesota Department of Health unfairly targeted youth sports for shutdowns, restrictions, and harm to kids, going so far as to take other activities off Minnesota’s contact-tracing forms.

The case cites Governor Walz and MDH own words and “data,” to show they had rigged the data to meet their policy objectives.  Here is just one example: In the November 18 executive order, banning youth sports, Governor Walz explained “we see relatively fewer outbreaks in retail settings” but the “192 outbreaks connected to sports are too concerning to let these activities continue.” Unfortunately for youth athletes, neither statement was true.

In the same month, November 2020, MDH announced it “saw 95 total workplace outbreaks” in just one week “with the highest number of outbreaks in other workplaces like retail and offices. But when banning youth sports MDH’s data actually indicated only 66 so-called youth sports outbreaks had occurred to that point all year, (not the 192 the alleged) and these “outbreaks” only involved 150 actual cases of COVID among a population of more than 1,500,000 that MDH had counted toward determining the number of “outbreaks” in youth sports.

“Minnesota’s kids may not have lobbyists, they may not vote, but they sure have value,” said Let Them Play attorney Sam Diehl. “And they have rights, they have the facts, and Let Them Play will continue to fight for them. We look forward to our day in court.” 

The suit also points out how MDH and the Governor’s office continue to change the rules often in conflict with their own rules in other executive orders. “MDH issued new rules for sports on December 28, January 5, and January 6 without notice, any semblance of rulemaking procedures or safeguards, and regardless of their consistency with the executive order from which they purportedly draw their authority.” (Page 8 of Brief) Further, they use generalized rule suggestions to overrule specific facts and recommendations of the CDC and WHO.

“Young people are not a dial, a lever, or any other tool to be used. They are human beings with intrinsic value,” said Let Them Play Founder Dawn Gillman. “And they need to know they have not lost, they are just down by a few points at half-time. They can be encouraged because they have a team of tens of thousands behind them.” 

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