Are the Courts the Only Place for Boys and Men to Go?
Some victims are now turning to the courts for answers. Lisa Moore is suing Gov. J.B. Pritzker of Illinois after her son, Trevor, took his own life. Others are joining the suit. The attorney for the group, Laura Grochocki, of the nonprofit organization Remember America Action is suing on the grounds of violating equal protection clauses. Grochocki argues that elites in the professional and college ranks have been able to participate in sports while high schools have been denied the same access. Governor Pritzker of Illinois contends professional and college sports have “significant resources to protect their players,” but that argument may become more difficult; as 40 other states have successfully run high school sports and other activities safely. And medical professionals are speaking up as well concerning the serious consequences of isolation and lockdowns contributing to suicide and other mental and physical health issues.
The Let Them Play movement in California is creating challenges for Illinois and other states whose lockdown are generating parental and professional backlash. In a letter received by GIBM on January 29 from a parent of the Let Them Play CA movement, 60 California physicians responded to the consequences of the lockdowns and its impact on young people.
"We have data from 40 other states that are allowing children to safely participate in sports over the past 9 months….
Depression, obesity, suicide, and anxiety have skyrocketed in our youth in significant part due to the lack of sports and activities. As physicians, we are seeing startling increases in rates of mental health issues since March 2020. In fact, the CDC reports a 24% increase in Emergency Room visits due to mental health issues in 5-11 year olds and a 31% increase in ER visits for mental health issues in 12-17 year olds from March 2020-October 2020 compared to 2019 data. We are also seeing alarming increases in rates of childhood obesity due to lack of physical activity and sports. In addition, sports participation helps to combat anxiety, depression, social isolation, suicidal ideation and weight gain. Moreover, sports participation helps improve school attendance, academic achievement, and future success in college and beyond.”
On February 4, nearly 200 physicians and healthcare professionals in Los Angeles County responded, Los Angeles County Health Professionals Call for School Reopening, to the Let Them Play CA action. One California high school football coach, speaking on the condition of anonymity said, “Having two boys at home as well as coaching 100 boys this past year, I have seen firsthand the negative affects this lock down has had. These last couple months especially. I have seen the motivation to work and compete leave the hearts of these boys. They feel like there’s no hope in sight. As a coach and father, it’s getting harder every day to tell them to keep training and hang in there. They’ve been hanging in there for the past 11 months to no avail.”
While Let Them Play (supporting female and males sports) takes its case to the court of public opinion and policy makers, males have traditionally gone through the courts to fight for equal protections. From equal parenting rights to equal protections as victim of abuse, suicide, academic challenges, and drug deaths, boys and men’s issues tend to be handled in the courts instead of actualized in policy actions.