Five student-athletes who attend an Orange County high school filed a lawsuit against California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday over his ban on indoor youth sports. The students say Newsom’s restrictions violate equal protection laws since professional and college athletes are permitted to play in the state, but not high school and below.
“They can’t say that it’s okay for college to play and not okay for the high school kids to play,” said one of the students’ fathers, who is involved in the “Let Them Play” movement in California that is urging youth sports to resume through activism. “The time to move forward is now, there’s not a huge risk to these kids, especially if we follow the same protocols that colleges and pros follow.”
Wingert, Grebing, Brubaker & Juskie, LLP, the law firm that represents the students, won a temporary restraining order against Newsom’s restrictions on youth sports in San Diego County on the basis of the order’s unfair treatment.
“We plan to spread this victory throughout California,” the firm’s attorney Stephen Grebing said. “In addition to Orange County today, we hope to file lawsuits in Santa Clara, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Riverside, San Bernardino, and other counties this week and next, to ensure that all youths, girls and boys, have the same right to play sports, indoor and outdoor, as college athletes and professional athletes do.”
A February Berkeley poll showed Newsom with just a 46 percent approval rating, down from 64 percent in September 2020. In 2018, Newsom won the state with 61.9 percent of the vote. Voters in California have evidently grown fed up with the shifting goalposts and harsh lockdowns. The California governor came under heavy fire in November for dining at a Michelin-starred restaurant in Napa Valley County that received 17 times more Paycheck Protection Program funding than the average Bay Area restaurant. In February, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of California churches suing Newsom for his restrictions on church gatherings.
The effort to recall Newsom has reached more than 1.8 million signatures. A total of 1,497,709 valid signatures must be counted and authenticated to trigger the recall election by March 17.