A high school track and field coach in New Hampshire claimed he lost his job recently after he refused to enforce the school’s outdoor mask mandate, which he described as “senseless, irrational, cowardice bullsh*t.”
Bradley Keyes, who coached at Pembroke Academy in Pembroke, New Hampshire, for four years, explained his rationale in a letter to the school’s athletics director (that he also posted on a blog), according to local CBS affiliate WBZ.
“I will not stand up in front of the kids and lie to them and tell them that these masks are doing anything worthwhile out in an open field with wind blowing and the sun shining,” Keyes wrote regarding the guidelines set by the New Hampshire Interscholastic Athletic Association.
“These insane policies are robbing kids of once in a lifetime opportunities for no valid reason other than irrational fears and going along with the sheep,” he added.
Keyes concluded his letter by urging the athletics director to fire him “if you must,” to which the director allegedly obliged.
In another blog post on Monday, Keyes announced he had been fired, writing, “One of the fundamental parts of all of this is learning to play by the rules. The rules [sic] supposedly put in place in order to create a fair and level playing field, to let everyone know what is expected and allowed, and then to let the best man, woman, or team win. Except now we are adding arbitrary, senseless, ill-thought rules.”
Keyes was not surprised that he was fired, telling WBZ: “I didn’t give [the school] any real choice. I backed them into a corner. What I wanted was to make a point. I was hoping the word would get out some and maybe there would be enough reaction that down the road, maybe in a few weeks or later, some of the restrictions would be changed. I just think people haven’t pushed back and I decided it was time to push back.”
David Testerman, a junior who will be running track this spring, explained to the outlet how cumbersome masks are when trying to run outside in the heat.
“It gets you really tired especially when it gets up to 80 degrees soon and it’s going to be really hard for us to keep doing what we live to do,” Testerman said.
Keyes told WBZ that he wears a mask when he enters stores or private business, but that based on his research, he doesn’t believe they are particularly effective.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), even those who have been vaccinated “should still take steps to protect [themselves] and others in many situations, like wearing a mask, staying at least 6 feet apart from others, and avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated spaces.”
The CDC urges people to take these precautions whenever they are in public, gathering with unvaccinated people from more than one other household, or visiting with an unvaccinated person who is at increased risk of severe illness or death from COVID-19, or who lives with a person at increased risk.
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