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Sports shouldn’t be overemphasized

There was an article on the front page of the Sept. 10 edition of the Mirror concerning Altoona Area High School athletic director Phil Riccio’s fervent wish that Gov. Tom Wolf would sign House Bill 2787.

This would allow the decision for fall sports to be played and spectators to be in the stands in the hands of each local school district.

He went on about how the kids need this, need social interaction. They need to be around other people to grow and mature. He claims that restricting them athletically does more detriment to kids than keeping them off the field.

Riccio is not the only one to feel this way.

Right above that article was a headline stating “48 Penn State athletes test positive for COVID-19.”

The safety of the athletes themselves does not seem quite as important as having fans in the stands. I would guess that the loss of revenue has a lot to do with this.

To my knowledge, no one has ever expressed concern about the safety of the players.

I guess being around family doesn’t count as social interaction. It’s ironic that before COVID-19, young teens, and adults as well, spent most of their time looking at their phones. They couldn’t even drive without being on the phone.

No one seemed to worry about them socially interacting with anyone. We have all seen kids as young as 6 or 8 playing with their phone or some other device, completely oblivious to everyone around them.

Why was it OK then, but not now?

It would seem to me that the health and safety of everyone should be our number one concern over and above sports. How many of those 48 athletes carried the virus home to family or friends? What is more important? Playing sports or staying alive?

Sports will always be there, but I don’t know of anyone who came back from the dead to watch a football game.

Elizabeth K. Shade

Hollidaysburg

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