PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Archdiocese of Philadelphia has canceled fall sports and some parents are frustrated. A protest is now being planned over the decision.
There’s no telling how many parents and students will come out to protest the decision to cancel fall sports across 17 high schools.
Dozens of parents have contacted Eyewitness News following the Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s announcement Monday to cancel all fall sports.
Their messages and comments range in emotion from frustration to anger to heartbreak. A demonstration is planned for Friday outside Archdiocesan Headquarters.
Bishop Shanahan senior Matthew Coladonato says he and his football squad took the news hard.
“Practice is canceled, no lifting, you can’t see any of your friends, no one’s on school campus but we’re going to school in a week but no sports. It’s a shame,” Coladonato said.
In a statement on Monday, the Archdiocese wrote:
“Please know that we share your disappointment regarding the current status of fall sports programs. It is our hope that your disappointment will be tempered by an understanding that we have an obligation to protect all those entrusted to our care.”
Meanwhile, parents say they’re mostly confused at the cancelation of sports by the church’s Office of Catholic Education, adding they’re puzzled why no competition is allowed even as their children will return to brick and mortar classrooms.
“I just think as a 17-year-old boy, they have steam to blow off, you know what. And there’s no healthier way to blow off steam is to be active,” parent Pam Coladonato said.
Wanting her son to play so badly, Coladonato insists she would sign a liability waiver if given the choice.
Experts at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia agree there is no one-size-fits-all solution to please everybody.
“Thinking about sports that are non-contact and at their nature are outside and able to socially distance, there may be ways to return to those sports a little bit faster,” CHOP physician Dr. Katie Lockwood said.
The archdiocese says “like every difficult decision made in recent months as a result of the coronavirus, there are strong opinions on both sides. We respect those opinions but the decision stands and will not be reversed.”