USC football players sent a letter to California Gov. Gavin Newsom Tuesday, asking him to find a way to allow the Trojans to play their fall 2020 season. The team clarified the Pac-12′s #WeAreUnited movement, “did not reflect any desire to not play this fall,” but rather called for appropriate protocols and testing to ensure athletes' safety. From this, the players, “simply wanted to ensure that health and safety would be at the forefront of our conference’s planning.” The USC football team voiced their support for the Quidel partnership that allows for daily antigen testing as approved by the Pac-12′s Medical Advisory Committee in hopes of reducing infection rates within the team by 100%.
The team’s message, posted by players such as Amon-Ra St. Brown and Kedon Slovis to Twitter and Instagram, reflected their aspirations to work with California legislation in order to, “find a path forward for [the team] to resume competitions later this fall so that we can have the same opportunity as other teams around the country to play for a national championship.” Other conferences, such as the ACC and SEC, have resumed their seasons in compliance with COVID-19 regulations, including a 20% stadium capacity, no tailgating, households must be seated together and 6 feet apart from other households and fans must wear masks. The Big 10 is expected to make a decision on a season return by this week.
The USC team’s statement adds to the growing response from the university’s student body regarding California state COVID-19 guidelines and how it has impacted the trajectory of student life.
Governor Newsom has yet to respond.