MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A group of parents, student-athletes and coaches in Minnesota filed a motion in federal court Tuesday seeking a preliminary injunction to block Gov. Tim Walz’s mask requirement for youth sports.
The group, Let Them Play MN, says the motion argues that the governor and state health officials have unfairly and repeatedly targeted youth sports for shutdowns and restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic. The group says the science used by officials is skewed to make youth sports seem unsafe.
“Minnesota’s kids may not have no lobbyists, they may not vote, but they sure have value,” said Let Them Play attorney Sam Diehl, in a statement. “And they have rights, they have the facts, and Let Them Play will continue to fight for them. We look forward to our day in court.”
If the preliminary injunction is granted, it may allow students to play without masks until a judge comes to a decision.
Let Them Play MN has previously filed other lawsuits against the governor and the state. The group first sued after Walz put a “pause” on youth sports last November, when COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths spiked to record levels. A judge denied that lawsuit.
Earlier this month, the group sued again when the pause on youth sports was lifted, arguing that mask requirement for student-athletes was a health risk. In a survey put out by Let Them Play MN, over 2,500 Minnesotans reported their child or they themselves experienced dizziness and shortness of breath while playing with a mask. The survey also found 14 kids collapsed and 11 needed emergency care.
Under the state’s restrictions for youth sports, most student-athletes are required to wear masks at all times during practices and games. Exceptions are made for gymnastics, cheerleading, wrestling, and swimming.