Photo: idahostatesman.com

Last Friday an Idaho high school game was abruptly stopped at half time and did not restart. Caldwell was hosting Emmett when the game was cut short after a spectator refused to put a mask on and refused to leave when asked.

The man refusing to wear a mask was anti-government activist Ammon Bundy. Bundy’s son plays for Emmett.

A video taken of the interaction shows an Emmett coach speaking with Bundy. The coach pleads with Bundy by explaining that if they stop the game they are unsure how it will be counted and will jeopardize the team’s chance at playoffs.

The Caldwell athletic director and principal asked Bundy to follow COVID protocols or leave. When he did neither, they called law enforcement. Officers asked him repeatedly to leave but did not find due cause to physically remove him.

After the spectators were told that the game was ending, Bundy was met by a group of angry parents outside of the stadium. Bundy posted the videos taken of the situation on Facebook.

Interestingly, in a statement made by the Caldwell school district, the game was reportedly stopped not only because of Bundy but because the local dispatch began to receive many phones calls threatening violence at the game over the mask requirement.

The Superintendent of Emmett Schools Craig Woods released a statement shortly after the game ended saying, “This is incredibly sad for the Emmett High School football team, high school and community. They were winning the game. They’ve been having a great season, and they’ve worked hard.We were the visitors. We should respect the host’s policies and procedures. Whether you agree or not when it comes to masks, the football team should not have to suffer the consequences. I’m proud of the Huskies. They did not ask for this.”

A decision regarding how the game will be counted for both teams has not been made yet. At halftime the score was 35-0 in favor of Emmett. However, Emmett could be penalized for the halting of the game as Bundy was one of their fans. The Idaho Athletic Activities Association will investigate the situation and Caldwell will be determined the winners by forfeit if it is found that Caldwell administrators adequately explained to Bundy the rules and tried to properly enforce them.

This whole situation proves to be very thought-provoking as states across the country are requiring fans to wear masks while in attendance at games. Regardless of personal opinions on masks it is interesting sad to see the actions of adults, or in this case one adult, negatively affect the fate of high school kids and their season.

For the latest, stay tuned to The Scoop. 

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Maddie joined the staff in 2020. She was a 3 sport high school athlete and a college volleyball player at Western State Colorado University.