Philadelphia football coaches cite gun violence in calling on school district to keep season

Football coaches in the Philadelphia School District held a news conference Wednesday to speak out against violence and called for the district to keep the football season.

The district is currently considering canceling the season due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Nick Lincoln, with Open Door Abuse Awareness and  Prevention and a college quarterback coach, says they launched “Beyond the Field” during the pandemic, where virtually athletes came together to discuss violence plaguing the city.

During the press briefing, they said there are big concerns for players and all students if sports and after-school activities cannot happen because of coronavirus. They say kids need a positive outlet after school even in the pandemic. 

"No matter what the fact is we have to have programs and activities for our kids," Frankford High School head football coach Bill Sytsma said.

Over the past four years, at least seven Philadelphia high school football players have been shot and killed. Most recently, Frankford High School lost 15-year-old Angelo Walker, when he was killed in a triple shooting in Overbrook earlier this month.

The executive director of athletics for Philly schools tells FOX 29  they have every intent of making athletics and some level of programming part of the reopening plan, which they will present to the school board Thursday.

Philadelphia Health Commissioner Thomas Farley says they are not prohibiting competition between two teams but strongly recommend against it.


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