California student-athletes filed a lawsuit against Democrat Governor Gavin Newsom on Monday, fighting against the Governor's indoor sports ban due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The lawsuit argued that under the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment, youth sports have been treated unfairly because collegiate and professional indoor sports in the state have been allowed to play, according to FOX 11 of Los Angeles.
The joint-filing for a temporary restraining order in Orange County Superior Court included five athletes participating across various indoor sports, including; basketball, volleyball, wrestling, and cheerleading.
"It’s been a little bit annoying considering I’ve been working hard all this quarantine and then we just keep getting canceled, it’s just frustrating," said junior basketball player Caleb Graham.
"We’re not able to play the season and have the experience needed for college," said sophomore volleyball player Elodie Danet. "I’ve been watching college volleyball for a while now and it’s frustrating seeing them play cause we’re not able to."
Brad Graham, the father of Canyon High School basketball player Caleb Graham, says Newsom has no medical evidence to justify banning youth sports. Brad Graham is also part of a youth sports advocacy group called 'Let Them Play CA.'
"They can’t say that it’s OK for college to play and not OK for the high school kids to play," said Brad Graham. "The time to move forward is now, there’s not a huge risk to these kids, especially if we follow the same protocols that colleges and pros follow."
Although California recently updated its guidelines to allow permission for outdoor sports to resume, indoor sports are held back from resuming in Orange County since the county has yet to enter California's ‘yellow tier’ guidelines.
High school sports officials claim that COVID-19 testing is too expensive for California’s 800,000 student-athlete population.
"If they tell us what they need from us from a testing perspective to get back out on the field, we believe we have the backing and resources to get that done very quickly, and very inexpensively," said Ken Elliot, a spokesperson with ‘Let Them Play’ earlier this year.
The student-athletes are represented by the same law firm that recently won a similar case in San Diego against Newsom, Wingert Grebing Brubaker & Juskie, LLP.
"In addition to Orange County today, we hope to file lawsuits in Santa Clara, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Riverside, San Bernardino, and other counties this week and next, to ensure that all youths, girls and boys, have the same right to play sports, indoor and outdoor, as college athletes and professional athletes do," said attorney Stephen Grebing. "We plan to spread this victory throughout California.”