Brad Keyes is the Track and Field Coach at Pembroke Academy. He was told by the “Pembroke Athletic Director that during this spring’s track and field meets all athletes will be required to wear masks during all races – 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m, mile, 2 mile – plus long jump, triple jump, and high jump.” Brad just said no.
They fired him.
In his farewell email he clearly loves his jobs, the sport, and the kids and he will not put them needlessly at risk.
Brad has published all the emails related to conversation leading up to and after his firing here and we received permission to republish as needed to get the word out to our readers.
Read more at the link but I’d like to focus on this. After being instructed of the requirement, Brad wrote to the Pembroke Athletic Director (reformatted).
I’ll come straight to the point. I will not put kids on the track and tell them to run any races while wearing masks.
I could play the ‘someone might get hurt’ card. I could ask what about the kids with asthma? I could point out that kids in the 400m and 800m sometimes end up throwing up at the end of a hard race. I could mention that occasionally they come close to, or even pass out. I could warn that wearing masks while exerting themselves to the limit of their physical capabilities could be dangerous.
But those excuses are the same ones used for these insane rules in the first place – someone might be hurt, someone might be sick – no matter how small the actual chance of it happening is.
No, the real reason I won’t do it is because it’s senseless, irrational, cowardice bullsh!t, and I will not help cover that up.
I will not stand up in front of the kids and lie to them and tell them that these masks are doing anything worthwhile out in an open field with wind blowing and the sun shining. …Please show me the science about how much the virus spreads outdoors.
I will not deceive them into thinking that these restrictions are somehow necessary or sensible.… Show me the contact tracing data that shows spread between athletes, or anyone else, outside.
I will not pretend or try to convince them that they are at some grave risk and the masks are going to save them. …Show me the data on infections, hospitalizations, and deaths for 14-18 year old athletes…
I keep hearing that we’re following the science. There is no science behind these restrictions. No, this is not about protecting the athletes, or even their families, it’s all about covering bureaucratic asses.
I will not try to convince these kids that what’s being done to them is right, fair, thoughtful, or sensible. These insane policies are robbing kids of once in a lifetime opportunities for no valid reason other than irrational fears and going along with the sheep.
I will not take any part in these policies which are taking a bad situation and making it needlessly, and cruelly, worse. If I am coaching the kids will not be wearing masks while running or racing. I plan to be at our first practice on Monday unless I hear from you otherwise.
I had planned on simply quitting, but I’ve decided not to do that. I regret putting you in this position. Fire me if you must.
All of Brad’s emails to the school community at his website here (I have also archived them if that page disappears), but most of what he has to say can be gleaned from this internal communication with the Athletic director. And he’s right, especially in New Hampshire.
The insanity has to stop. People, including teachers, coaches, and parents, need to push back.
According to twelve months of state health data, a school track athlete has almost no chance of getting infected, needing hospitalization (0.18%), and zero chance of dying (0.00%). None.
Making them wear a mask while competing is not just unnecessary; it creates a public health risk. It is irresponsible and dangerous.
But that’s not the biggest problem.
The issue is a year of lies and deceptions by politicians and public health officials about the impact SARS CoV2 has on people. Even if you think these masks work, COVDI19 operates with extreme prejudice. It is not a public health threat to the majority of the population but the state is creating present and future health dangers to people who would otherwise be free to go about their lives unhindered were it not for these gross misrepresentations.
Making any athletes run while masked is insane. Making kids do it is malfeasance.
The Pembroke Athletic Director should be stepping down. Whoever directs his policy should as well.
Brad Keyes is a hero. You should thank him for standing up for these kids, it’s about time someone did.