From the Offices of Senator Lynn Findley
& Representative Mark Owens
Honorable Governor Kate Brown
C/o: Nik Blosser
900 Court St. NE, Room 254
Salem, OR 97301
June 9, 2020
Honorable Gov. Brown,
We write to you today to voice the concerns of thousands of our constituents who have contacted us with overwhelming support for the “Let Them Play” initiative regarding Oregon’s high school sports and extracurricular activities.
It is our understanding that the restrictions contained in the Phase 2 reopening guidelines prohibit any sport that involves participants coming into bodily contact. These restrictions seem onerous and inequitable, especially considering exemptions are being crafted for collegiate and professional sports teams. These rules should apply to all athletics equally or should not be applied at all. Of course, we are requesting you to consider the former of these circumstances and not the latter. The argument could also logically be made that the “contact” within these contact sports is not similar in any nature to the contact-distancing we are adhering to in order to prevent the further spread of COVID-19.
In border towns like Ontario, teams are traveling across the state line to Idaho to hold practices, play games, and participate in tournaments. If it is safe enough for Idaho athletes to participate in all sports, why is it somehow unsafe for those in Oregon, less than 10 minutes away?
We urge you to reconsider the restrictions on high school sports and activities. These sports and activities allow for opportunities for personal growth, comradery, and positive effects on children’s physical and mental health. This prohibition will negatively affect tens of thousands of Oregon’s youth at a time when their world has already been turned upside down. It may also place many students’ college scholarships in jeopardy and could result in missed opportunities and the dream of a college education out of reach for many.
Please reconsider these limitations. We look forward to discussing this with you further.
Senator Lynn Findley
Senate District 30
Representative Mark Owens
House District 60