Unmask our Children

Please co-sign my letter to the governor asking her to unmask our children during sporting events.

Gov. Whitmer,

It is with great concern for the overall health and safety of Michigan’s student athletes that I write to respectfully request you amend Executive Order 2020-176, which you recently signed to allow organized sports practices and competitions to resume.

Many parents have contacted me to express their desire that these sports to resume for their children’s mental and physical well-being. Many athletes have already been training for weeks. The order, however, as currently implemented, requires athletes in all organized sports other than swimming, whether indoors or outdoors, to wear a face mask at all times. This requirement defies a growing body of scientific data about significant negative health effects of physical exertion while wearing a mask..

Collegiate and professional athletes not just throughout the country, but also globally are currently competing in various sports without being required to wear a mask. Whether on the field, on the court or otherwise engaged in competition, their ability to breathe while exerting themselves is not impaired. It hardly makes sense that Michigan would be an outlier in this regard, especially for sports that are naturally physically distanced.

To be forced to restrict one’s breathing by order of the government while engaging in an otherwise healthy activity not only makes the activity more difficult, but it also could threaten the health and safety of our athletes, especially for those who may have underlying breathing issues, such as asthma.

Wearing a mask while on the sidelines in close physical contact makes sense and should be encouraged. But to require athletes to “mask up” while competing is a penalty they should not be required to suffer. Please amend your executive order and let our athletes breathe.


Sen. Lana Theis

Unmask Our Children