The case of former high school track coach Bradley Keyes has some Americans wondering whether the U.S. truly remains a free country.
According to reports, the New Hampshire man claims he was fired from his position for objecting to a “senseless” mandate requiring runners to wear facemasks.
“Fire me if you must”
According to the Washington Examiner, Keyes wrote a letter to Pembroke Academy slamming the rule as “senseless, irrational, cowardice bulls***” and adding an ominous statement to reiterate his position.
“Fire me if you must,” he wrote — and the school reportedly did exactly that.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, experts have noted that the virus does not seem to pose a serious threat to children. Nevertheless, Keyes claimed that the “sheep” in charge of implementing safety measures have used the crisis to traumatize a generation of students with arbitrary restrictions.
In his statement on the matter, the now-former coach denounced “insane policies” enacted by the New Hampshire Interscholastic Athletic Association.
“I will not put kids on the track and tell them to run any races while wearing masks,” he declared, according to CBS Boston. “I will not stand up in front of the kids and lie to them and tell them that these masks are doing anything worthwhile out in an open field with the wind blowing and the sun shining.”
“I made my choice”
Keyes went on to note that he is “not surprised” that he lost his job over the incident, asserting: “I made my choice to speak out. They made theirs.”
As for the student-athletes, at least one runner described the difficulty he had breathing while running in a mask.
“It gets you really tired especially when it gets up to 80 degrees soon and it’s going to be really hard for us to keep doing what we live to do,” David Testerman told local reporters.
Keyes, who worked for the school for four years before he was fired, said he has received dozens of supportive messages for his stance, which he hopes will inspire others to similarly speak out.
“I was hoping the word would get out some and maybe there would be enough reaction that down the road, maybe in a few weeks or later, some of the restrictions would be changed,” he said, according to the local CBS affiliate. “I just think people haven’t pushed back and I decided it was time to push back.”