CHICAGO (CBS) — Student athletes pushing for the return of fall sports planned to rally at Soldier Field Sunday before the Bears home opener, but the rally has been canceled. They have been pushing Gov. JB Pritzker for weeks now to let them play this fall despite the governor saying he does not think it’s safe to play.
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Dozens of student athletes, coaches and parents gathered at the Thompson Center Saturday for a rally to demand the return of fall sports, including football, volleyball, soccer and cheerleading. Student athletes spoke passionately about the physical and mental impact of not being able to play, the possibility of missing out on scholarships, and how playing provides a safe haven for them.READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Warm Winds Friday
Organizers say right now Illinois is one of only 11 states not playing this fall.
“Illinois politicians, how would you feel if that was you? Would you be depressed or have anxiety or you think have that mentality is an OK new normal?” asked Ella Woltman, a freshman girl volleyball player at St. Laurence High School.
“As athletes sports means more to us than just a game,” said Jaylen Brown, a senior football player at Wheaton Warrenville South High School. “With taking away fall sports you’re taking away our chances to learn valuable lessons and build lifelong relationships.”MORE NEWS: Hate-Filled Letters Falsely Claiming To Be From A Judge Sent To Minority-Owned North Suburban Restaurants
The governor still stands by his decision. CBS 2 reached out to his office Saturday, and they said there has been no change in his decision.