Whitmer Specifies Sports (Including High School Football) In Which Athletes Must Wear Masks

Sep 10, 2020

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has clarified her order requiring masks in organized sports, saying they must be worn in training and competition only when athletes can't consistently keep 6 feet apart. The measure issued Wednesday explicitly mentions football, soccer and volleyball as sports where face coverings are a must due to the coronavirus pandemic. But it also now exempts sports in which athletes can keep distance “except for occasional and fleeting moments” — such as tennis, golf, cross country, baseball and softball. Her initial order to let additional organized sports resume required all athletes to wear a mask except when swimming.

At a Thursday morning news conference, Whitmer fielded several questions about high school football specifically. She defended the decision to require football players and other athletes to wear masks, saying, "I know we are all passionate about sports." 

"We still have to be very smart about it for our student athletes," Whitmer added.

"There are a number of companies creating masks specifically disgined to help athletes stay safe," Whitmer said.

As for compliance with mask wearing by student athletes, Whitmer says she is hoping that school districts, leagues, coaches and parents will support the directive.