Youth football during COVID-19 might be the most dangerous spectator sport after another man has been shot dead at a youth football game. In Wichita, Kansas, 31-year-old Marquell Nolan was shot dead at a Wichita Youth Football game by another man with who he was arguing with. Police said it wasn’t the first problem of the season. Wichita Youth Football games have been marred by violence and littering, officials said.
The murder has led to the league shutting down for the rest of the season.
“It is with a heavy heart that we announce the termination of the 2020 Wichita Youth Football Season,” the league said in a statement. “We are feeling incredibly disappointed, saddened, and discouraged as it pertains to this community. This youth football league was developed with a genuine hope to change the culture surrounding youth football in Wichita. To give inner-city children the opportunity to play under the lights on turf fields, with large crowds cheering them on to victory.”
What started as a great idea to give inner-city youth the ability to play football at a higher level has turned deadly.
“To allow those children to feel cared for, important, and worthy. To give families a safe, secure environment where their children can learn to play sports. To allow the Wichita youth some time to simply be kids in the midst of a global pandemic. Instead, we were forced as a league to deal with fights, litter, and arguments on a weekly basis, ultimately leading to a permanent W.P.D. presence and heightened security, clean-up crews, and a permanent admission fee needed to pay for those extra costs,” the league said. ” As most of you know, tonight during the last game of the evening, a gun was snuck into the premises at Stryker and someone was fatally shot. As a league, we can no longer safely continue with the 2020 season, as it is clearly too dangerous for the children and families of this city. Our pleas and desires to change the culture of youth football in Wichita have consistently fallen on deaf ears. We are sending our hopes and prayers not only to the injured party’s family, but also to all the families involved in this league and most importantly, to the children who have lost the great opportunity this year to simply play football.”
Last week, in Jacksonville, Florida, a man was shot and killed and his 7-year-old son shot at a youth football game in Jacksonville, Florida, according to reports. The game was played in Arlington Heights at a park near an elementary school. Witnesses said a man driving a gray SUV pulled up, wearing a gray hoodie and mask exited the vehicle and started shooting into the crowd, in their direction.