‘Unmask Our Athletes’ protesters gather in Lansing to rally against mask mandate in school sports

Players required to wear masks to slow spread of COVID-19

A rally was held in Michigan on Wednesday called “Unmask Our Athletes.”
A rally was held in Michigan on Wednesday called “Unmask Our Athletes.”

LANSING, Mich. – A rally was held in Michigan on Wednesday called “Unmask Our Athletes.”

The supporters of the rally believe mandating that children and teens wear masks while playing sports is not just a nuisance, but also a danger to their health. Players are required to wear masks to help slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

READ: Metro Detroit high school football athletes, parents gear up for season with COVID-19 restrictions implemented

The organizer told Local 4 that they want their voices heard. They have emailed senators, met with state representatives and signed petitions.

Local 4′s Dr. Frank McGeorge weighed in on athletes wearing masks.

“The exact risk of transmission during contact sports is not completely known. But, by their very nature, heavy breathing people coming in contact for a cumulative period of time -- over 15 minutes -- certainly makes spread very possible. And masks can decrease the risk,” McGeorge said.

McGeorge also said children and and do spread coronavirus.

“It’s critical that everyone continue to do their part to decrease transmission. Kids do get infected. Kids do act as a reservoir and can spread it to other kids and adults,” McGeorge said.

Michigan’s chief medical officer, Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, said if a player can’t wear a mask while playing then they should not play.

The rally participants said it should be up to the parents to decide if their children will wear masks or not.

READ: More coronavirus coverage

About the Authors:

Jamie anchors sports coverage on Local 4 News Saturdays at 6 & 11 p.m. and Sunday at 6 p.m., in addition to hosting Sports Final Edition.

Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.