Many of you who have attended one of our home events or seen photos posted of me on social media at those events not wearing a mask. As we continue through the Fall season and attempt to navigate the numerous recommendations and requirements for coaches, players and spectators, I am compelled to share some personal information with you. When the facial covering requirements were laid out, my hope was that spectators and visiting teams would assume the best and not think the worst about my inability to comply with this directive. From the many comments and complaints, I realize that has not happened. As such, I feel it necessary to share my medical condition.
During my previous career in law enforcement, like many fellow officers, I was exposed both physically and mentally to significant emotional events. As a result, I struggle with and have symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Covering my face for long periods of time triggers some of these symptoms; I am grateful that I work in a school system that both understands and supports me with these challenges.
While we must continue to be vigilant with our spectator guidelines including the use of facial coverings, I can promise you that no one on the athletic department staff will pressure or question a spectator who discloses a medical exception to the requirement of wearing a mask.
If you struggle with similar challenges, I encourage you to reach out and talk to somebody. No one should ever feel or be made to feel ashamed because of someone else’s views or opinions.