SOUTHFIELD, MICHIGAN - OCTOBER 16: Gov. Gretchen Whitmer introduces Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden delivers remarks about health care at Beech Woods Recreation Center October 16, 2020 in Southfield,m Michigan. With 18 days until the election, Biden is campaigning in Michigan, a state President Donald Trump won in 2016 by less than 11,000 votes, the narrowest margin of victory in the state's presidential election history. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Source: Tim Pearce

Thousands of students, teachers, coaches, school administrators, and others flocked to Lansing, Michigan, on Saturday to protest Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s shutdown of high school winter sports.

Dozens of people, including many of the athletes themselves, gave speeches from the steps of the Michigan State Capitol calling on the governor and the Michigan Department of Health to lift the ban on winter contact sports, according to MLive. Michigan is one of the only states in the country to prohibit high school athletics because of the coronavirus, despite research showing that spread of the disease in schools with precautions is minimal.

The protest was organized by Let Them Play, a group launched last year by Michigan business owner Jayme McElvany, whose son is a high school athlete. McElvany organized two other protests last year that were each attended by hundreds of students, parents, and school staff.

“There were easily 2,000 people here from across the state to show their support and some people from the [Upper Pennisula] drove nine hours just to be here today,” McElvany told MLive. “The crowd was incredible and the kids who got up and spoke really showcased the emotions that everyone is going through right now.”

“I feel like a mom to 60,000 kids right now and I couldn’t be prouder of all of them for continuing to battle for their right to play organized youth sports. I’m fighting for all of them and we are working together to do what is right and let them play again,” she added.