Skip to main content
You have permission to edit this article.
Pritzker nixes fall youth sports, urges COVID-19 sacrifice

Pritzker nixes fall youth sports, urges COVID-19 sacrifice

  • Updated
  • 0
Pritzker nixes fall youth sports, urges COVID-19 sacrifice

FILE - In this April 23, 2020, file photo, Gov. J.B. Pritzker speaks at the Thompson Center in Chicago. Pritzker said Wednesday, Sept. 16, the focus during the coronavirus pandemic should be on protecting communities and not whether families should decide if sons and daughters strap on football helmets or start spiking volleyballs. His comments came day after refusing to retract an earlier prohibition on those and other fall sports despite growing protests around the state.

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Wednesday the focus during the coronavirus pandemic should be on protecting communities and not whether families make decisions about sons and daughters strapping on football helmets or spiking volleyballs.

A day after refusing to retract an earlier prohibition on fall sports despite protests around the state, the Democrat said at a Chicago news conference that the decision must consider more than the athletes, coaches and staff.

“This deadly virus should remind us that there are some individual choices that have enormous life-changing impacts on others,” Pritzker said. “While parents might choose to send their children out onto the playing field, I can tell you that someone else becomes ill because of that decision wouldn't call that ‘your personal choice.’”

Pritzker's Illinois Department of Public Health demanded an adjusted high school sports schedule for this school year, and the IHSA responded in late July with a plan that included shutting down the traditional prep gridiron schedule until spring.

But anxious football fans revolted. IHSA Executive Director asked in a letter to Pritzker last week to let the governing body resume control of its sports schedule.

Public health officials said Wednesday that there were 35 more deaths related to COVID-19 among 1,941 additional infections. There have now been 8,367 deaths in Illinois related to the disease that results from the coronavirus. Overall, there have been 266,151 confirmed cases.

Pritzker said he sent a letter Wednesday to the state's congressional delegation urging approval of a hoped-for economic relief package from Washington meant to help state bank accounts devastated by the pandemic. The General Assembly adopted a budget last spring that included an expected $5 billion contribution in federal money. Absent that, Pritzker has told his agency chiefs to identify 5% spending cuts in the current budget.

Additionally, Pritzker said the state is waiting for about $1 billion it's still expecting to pay bills in the fiscal year that ended June 30.

He also contacted the Illinois State Board of Elections to urge using money in the budget to recruit election judges, who oversee the polls on Election Day in November. Historically, judges have overwhelmingly been seniors. Their participation might be down because older people face greater health threats from contracting COVID-19. The budget includes $4 million to establish drop boxes for voters who chose not to vote in person. Pritzker suggested using some of that money in the election-judge effort.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

Concerned about COVID-19?

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Related to this story

Most Popular

  • Updated

WASHINGTON (AP) — The bombshell revelations that President Donald Trump paid just $750 in federal income taxes the year he ran for office and paid no income taxes at all in many others threaten to undercut a pillar of his appeal among blue-collar voters and provide a new opening for his Democratic rival, Joe Biden, on the eve of the first presidential debate.

  • Updated

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump's refusal to commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he loses drew swift blowback Thursday from both parties in Congress, and lawmakers turned to unprecedented steps to ensure he can't ignore the vote of the people. Amid the uproar, Trump said anew he's not sure the election will be “honest."

  • Updated

Some notable quotes from Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, a former Notre Dame law professor and current judge on the Chicago-based 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. President Donald Trump on Saturday announced he was nominating Barrett to fill the seat vacated by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

  • Updated

WASHINGTON (AP) — Two Republican-led Senate committees issued a politically charged report Wednesday alleging that the work Joe Biden’s son did in Ukraine constituted a conflict of interest for the Obama administration at a time when Biden was engaged in Ukraine policy as vice president. But the report also offered no support for President Donald Trump's claim that the Democratic presidential nominee had improperly pressed for the firing of the country's top prosecutor to protect his son.

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.


News Alerts

Breaking News