Athletes shouldn’t have to wear masks while competing

Jayce Jessup, Editor

In the days of Covid-19 and having to wear masks almost anywhere there is one place that these masks don’t belong, and that’s on the faces of athletes when they are training or competing. These masks that are supposed to protect us from the virus are restricting athletes’ oxygen intake and then forcing us to breathe in our own carbon dioxide. As athletes breathe heavily, they often will breathe in higher concentrations of carbon dioxide, which can affect respiratory function and cause excitation followed by depression of the central nervous system. 

Our own athletes here at FMHS are required to wear a face mask not only during practice but during actual games as well. It is a common talk during practices as athletes talk of how difficult it is to breathe and that they feel they aren’t getting enough air to play. When asked how he feels about having to wear a face mask while playing, FMHS senior Cole Savage said, “Having to wear these masks makes it incredibly difficult to play as the mask gets very hot and makes it feel as if I’m not getting enough oxygen.” 

To add on to why athletes shouldn’t wear masks while competing, the CDC has put out a statement reading, “People should NOT wear masks when exercising, as masks may reduce the ability to breathe comfortably. Sweat can make the mask become wet more quickly which makes it difficult to breathe and promotes the growth of microorganisms. The important preventive measure during exercise is to maintain physical distance of at least one meter from others.” 

All evidence points to masks hindering athletes as they prevent them from getting enough oxygen, while also making them breathe in their own carbon dioxide which is very harmful to our bodies. This just makes you wonder when a health problem will occur, such as someone passing out due to lack of oxygen, and when a whole outcry will result. Let’s avoid that and get rid of athletes’ masks for good once and for all.