Let Them Play MN files lawsuit against Walz over youth sports ban

Let Them Play MN, a nonprofit group made up of parents, coaches and fans, filed a lawsuit against Governor Tim Walz over the current ban of youth sports.

Under Walz's current four-week "pause" to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in Minnesota, youth sports would not be able to start again until Dec. 21

The lawsuit calls for the end of the ban. It alleges the current restrictions "unfairly singles out young people from harm" and claims data shows banning youth sports is "likely to increase, not reduce, the spread of COVID" in Minnesota.

In November, Minnesota Department of Health Infectious Disease Director Kris Ehresmann said 10 percent of all COVID-19 cases in Minnesota schools are associated with sports. According to officials, there have been at least 35 outbreaks reported in football, at least 46 in hockey and at least 25 in basketball. 

Unnamed student-athletes in the lawsuit described frustrations for not being able to compete or train, stating participating in sports has helped their mental health amid the isolating pandemic.

Walz is expected to make an announcement on Monday about on extending business closures and limits on private gatherings.