Artesia students protest cancellation of fall sports competitions

Local Sports

ARTESIA, N.M. (KRQE) – Protests continue across the state following Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s decision to not allow fall sports. Parents and student-athletes believe they are being singled out; Hundreds gathered Monday morning at the Bulldog Bowl in Artesia.

“No, there is no doubt that this year has been wild, and tell me, who would have thought that we would be spending our highschool years protesting to actually go to school,” said senior Kaylin Klein.

Students and parents met in the parking lot of the Bulldog football field to protest the governor’s decision to cancel fall sports.

“We really felt like students in New Mexico have lost their voice, a lot of decisions are being made on our behalf without any of our input, so we decided to use our voice today,” said senior Tayler Henry.

Students all over the state have been taking a stance since last Thursday’s decision. The governor decided to cancel the remaining fall sports: golf, cross country, and volleyball. The governor had already canceled contact sports in the summer. Students say sports help them with their mental wellness.

“I know that for sure that, over the summer I got pretty depressed myself; I’m sure a lot of my friends did,” said Klein.

Their season was canceled just days away from their first scheduled event. “Well, really we were expecting to run, we were getting our uniforms that day, we had a plan laid out, we where all ready and, it’s the easiest sport to socially distance in. Your whole goal is to get as far away from everyone else as possible,” said Henry.

Students got up and spoke to a few hundred people gathered in support. Their message: get us back in school, playing sports.

“We have kids in our school that don’t have sports or activities and the classroom was the only way to connect to peers around them. I trust my administrators to do their best to keep me safe, I want to learn from my teachers directly not through a computer,” said senior Trenton Knowlton.

The governor’s office says with the state’s current spread of the virus, allowing competition is simply too risky. Like other school sports protests across the state, everyone at the Artesia event was wearing a mask.

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