San Diego County officials taped a Cease & Desist order to our front door this morning. This is our response which we sent earlier today:
February 17, 2021
Gary, Soly, Brent, Vince and Conor –
We hope this finds you well. We realize and respect that you have a job to do and we are empathetic to the fact that you all support the safe return of youth sports. However, sending inspectors to our fields the last three days is simply going too far.
We all know this is no longer about the science or keeping kids safe. The data is mounting every day that Covid transmission on sports fields is negligible. This has been confirmed by the NFL, the National Federation of High School Sports (NFHS), the ECNL, the SEC, the Dutch Football Association and the British Journal of Sports Medicine. Miraculously, kids in 48 states are safely playing youth sports every day. Interestingly, your office, nor the state of CA has generated a single study that shows youth sports are in fact dangerous for kids or the spread of Covid.
Surf has been a safe refuge for kids for since June. We’ve hosted our own athletes and opened the doors for other sports organizations that have been shut out from their normal playing fields. We’ve had hundreds of thousands of player and coach interactions and less than 25 instances of Covid, none of which were contracted or spread on the field. We are told by parents daily that we are the ONLY area of normalcy in the lives of their kids and that their activity in sport is one of the only things keeping them from depression. In fact, another 16 year old boy (in Glendora) committed suicide just this week due to depression as he didn’t have access to his sports and Eagle Scout activities.
We also know that your focus on Surf is unequal enforcement. If you drive around the county on any weekend day you will see full soccer games with refs, baseball games with uniforms and umpires and passing league football games. If you peak into the gyms you will see league playing happening in volleyball and basketball. The only reason you are focusing on Surf is that our neighboring multi-million dollar home owners want to return our facility to support their horse lifestyle. Unequal use of your power is an abuse of your power.
Further, we think you are bending under the pressure of a single news story from ABC. You should all know that Kimberly Hunt, the anchor for ABC, is part of the neighborhood homeowners that opposes youth sports as a use of the Polo Fields. She was on a walk with her husband on Saturday, shot the footage herself and leveraged her position as an anchor to get ABC to run the story. No other local stations have run the story. We’d also encourage you to read the comments below the story as the community seems to be aggressively opposed to ABC’s position (see the link here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=41uJA_vd2nw&feature=youtu.be).
Our choice is to follow the science. Our choice is to protect the overall health of kids. Our choice is to help others in the community. Our choice is kids over wealthy NIMBY’s. Our choice is doing what’s right rather than be influenced by one reporter using her pulpit to pursue her personal agenda. If your choice is to ignore the science and penalize one of the organizations that has had the courage to stand up for kids and to protect the kids, then you are on the wrong side of this argument.
If your choice is to send an inspector daily to our fields, please simply let me know and we will get out our checkbook. We won’t let these kids down. We will continue to let kids play. We will continue to be the gold standard in safety protocols. We will continue to be positive contributors to our community. We will continue doing the same things we’ve done since June. However, we will not allow back the lacrosse group that broke our rules.
It does us no pleasure to send this message as we respect each of you and your position.