California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom has been sued by two high school football players in San Diego and their guardians, seeking a temporary restraining order so high school athletes can compete during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The lawsuit filed Jan. 28 in the San Diego Superior Court also names the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), the County of San Diego, and San Diego public health officer Wilma Wooten as defendants, according to The Orange County Register. It alleges a 14th amendment equal protection violation because high school athletes in California have not been allowed to compete like collegiate and professional athletes have. (RELATED: DC Mayor Suspends High School Sports)
“It struck us as being unfair to high school athletes that are being deprived of the opportunity, many of them seniors, to play their final year, opportunities to be seen by scouts, to have the experience to play,” said the plaintiffs’ attorney Stephen Grebing.
Under California’s COVID-19 restrictions, most high school athletes have been prohibited from competing since March and only recently, Jan. 25, did the CDPH start allowing low-contact sports like cross country, according to the Orange County Register. The lawsuit, Grebing clarified, is not demanding that his clients be able to take to the field free of COVID-19 protocols, but rather play with the same protocols under which collegiate and professional athletes can play.
“What we’re saying is, if we agree to have the same protocols, why not let us play?” he asked.
Grebing hopes to have a court hearing in a “week or so,” the Orange County Register reported.