Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves described college football even amid the coronavirus pandemic as “essential”

Gov. Tate Reeves adjusts his face mask as he prepares to leave his COVID-19 press briefing, Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2020, in Jackson, Miss. The governor, who has admitted to disliking the wearing of a face mask, nevertheless wears one in public, and Tuesday issued a statewide order for people to wear masks in public amid a recent surge in cases of the new coronavirus. He and other state officials provided an update on the coronavirus and the state’s ongoing strategy to limit transmission. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

JACKSON, MISS. (AP) — Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves described college football — even amid the coronavirus pandemic — as “essential” Tuesday, his comments echoing a tweet President Donald Trump posted the day before and coming on the same day his Republican counterpart in Florida also pushed for games to be held this fall.

“What do opponents of football think, these kids will end up in a bubble without it? You can get COVID anywhere,” Reeves tweeted Tuesday afternoon. “There are forces who want to cancel everything to avoid risk at all societal costs. It’s foolish. We have to balance risk & costs.”

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Two of college football’s five power conferences, Big Ten and Pac-12, announced Tuesday that teams won’t play football this fall because of concerns about COVID-19. Reeves lamented that decision, saying that in Mississippi, officials have been working with big football schools including Mississippi State and the University of Mississippi to design a season that does not compromise the safety of players or fans.

“I personally believe that we can play college football,” Reeves told a news conference. “I don’t think you can do it in a stadium with a hundred thousand people in it — that certainly doesn’t make sense.”

Trump has adamantly said that he supports football seasons going forward as planned. On Monday, he tweeted, “Play College Football.


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