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Governor: No contact sports in the fall

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On Thursday, New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham did what no other football team could do to the Roswell football team last year. The governor shut them down, along with every football and soccer team in the state, for the fall sports season.

“No contact sports will be permitted in the fall,” Lujan Grisham said, “This has been a decision that we have been doing a fair amount of hand wringing on because sports are incredibly important to the individuals who play them.”

The governor made the announcement regarding fall sports during a Thursday afternoon live-streamed press conference on the COVID-19 pandemic in New Mexico, which covered a range of topics related to the state’s progress in fighting the virus.

She emphasized that despite the importance of sports to New Mexico communities, playing contact sports in the fall would be too risky given current conditions.

“We are clear about that, about the social behaviors and the team building and about the life lessons that are learned in playing sports. We are concerned about the impact they have on the quality of life, the individuals playing and the coaches and the families.

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“But these contact sports are too high risk and if we do well, and we work hard, it is possible that we can just be delaying them and they can be played later in the year; and then later in the season. I’ve got my fingers crossed that — and I believe in you — that we can get this done.

“This has been very painful and we’re working with the New Mexico Activities Association on creating a standard and getting information out to schools and coaches and teams. We have talked about the modified schedules. I’m not giving up on it yet, but I do want to let everyone know we are delaying those. Other non-contact sports are under review and once we have the delayed start to their seasons, I’m feeling as confident as I can, given the current situation we are in, that we can get them done. So, golf, tennis as examples, and not that they’re the only sports.”

Lujan Grisham emphasized that for any sports to happen in the fall, conditions must allow for schools to be open.

“No fall sports are going to happen if schools are not open,” she said. “They are all tied to schools being open.”

Stay tuned to RDR Sports for coaches’ reactions to the governor’s decision.