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#pounditFriday, November 27, 2020

Video: Parents of players chant ‘let us play!’ outside Big Ten offices

A group of parents of Big Ten football players staged a protest outside the league’s headquarters on Friday.

Roughly 25 parents attended a gathering that was arranged by Randy Wade, the father of Ohio State star defensive back Shaun Wade. Most of the parents were from Ohio State and Iowa, with some also representing Illinois and Wisconsin. The parents wore shirts and carried signs with messages like “Let them play!” and chanted “let us play!” in unison at one point. ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg captured the scene.

Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren wrote an open letter on Wednesday explaining the league’s decision to cancel fall sports. He said the vote by Big Ten leaders was “overwhelming,” but there have been some questions about whether or not a vote was actually held. Randy Wade said he and other parents are unhappy with the decision-making process and want “transparency.”

“We don’t have to play in the fall. We want to play in the fall,” Wade told Rittenberg. “We want to do everything we can to play in the fall. We don’t like the way the decision went down by the presidents and not knowing whether they voted, didn’t vote. We don’t like that. Our kids wear Big Ten on every jersey.”

Other parents expressed frustration with the timing of the decision. They said they don’t understand why the Big Ten moved to cancel the season so quickly while the SEC, ACC and Big 12 are waiting to make a decision.

Many coaches and star players from the Big Ten are just as frustrated as the parents. One of the conference’s best players even launched a petition this week in an attempt to have the season reinstated. However, Warren made it clear in his letter on Wednesday that the decision is final.

The players want to play. The families want to play. Help spread the message by buying this “We Want to Play” T-shirt. You can buy the #WeWantToPlay shirt here:

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