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Here We Go (Again)

Why do I have to keep doing this?

 Today, KHSAA Commissioner Julian Tackett made a ~spicy~ comment regarding sideline cheerleaders at football games this fall, titling them “non-essential”, in a follow-up regarding what he sees at the “problem” at football games, which includes fans and non-essential individuals. 

 Well, something isn’t adding up to me.

 No one is here to say that cheerleaders are an indispensable part of a football game. The players can indeed play without them, and I will be the first to admit that. However, to be frank, none of this is technically essential. We can live a life without high school football, although we may not want to.

Where I find a problem is the reasoning behind allowing one set of athletes to continue on and not another, discriminating against a certain group that were referred to as “nice to have.” Don’t even get me started on the internalized misogyny in that statement.

When KHSAA released their guidelines, the very first page includes justification for bringing back high school sports. Here’s a look: 

“[We at KHSAA] believe it is essential to the physical and mental well-being of students to return to physical activity and athletic competition.”

Yes, it could be considered essential for physical and mental well-being. But this poses the question that has me take issue with what Commissioner Tackett said this morning: Why is the physical and more importantly the mental well-being of one group of athletes more important than another? Could it be yet another case of the old “cheerleading is not a sport” mentality? I really thought we cleared that up the last time we had to do this, but I guess Commissioner Tackett didn’t see that story.

The guidelines go on to cite personal relationships with coaches and athletes, stating it has “never been more important” in light of the pandemic. I’m sorry, but aren’t cheerleaders capable of having relationships with their coaches? Can only football, basketball and baseball — the “real athletes” — have mentors who also happen to be their coaches? Cheerleading must be too superficial for that. I just can’t seem to understand how as a society we justify letting male athletes run into one another and sweat all over the place in the middle of this global pandemic, but letting cheerleaders stand on the sidelines apart from one another is where the “problem” starts. Double standard, maybe? Is KHSAA actually considering the mental well-being of both groups? Or is it using that justification when its convenient for them? 

For those who are saying “But they still have competitive cheer, Abbi! They’ll have their moment!” yes, there were guidelines released today to begin that season. But who knows where we will be when it’s time for those competitions, which culminates in the state competition that usually takes place in December. Typically, teams begin practicing for these competitions in May or June. This year, they get to start on September 21st, about a month and a half from when regional competitions traditionally begin each year. We don’t know enough at this point to even be able to promise these athletes what some may call “their” season. In fact, middle and elementary school competitions are already cancelled for the 2020-21 year. 

Also, if we are to get to the root of the issue, the “problem” Commissioner Tackett is referring to, which I assume is health and safety for student athletes, it’s important to consider the risk each individual is posing to themselves and those around them.

Sideline cheerleading is considered a low-risk activity.

Football is considered high-risk.


Article written by Abbigale Harrison

Covering KY news from DC. This should be fun. Twitter: @theabbiharrison

30 Comments for Here We Go (Again)

  1. ukcamel
    6:26 pm September 16, 2020 Permalink

    He’s not wrong. The cheerleaders aren’t necessary to play a football game, that is beyond dispute by any serious person – and on the flip side a football game is not necessary for the cheerleaders to have competitions (which they deserve to be able to do as well).

    That said, also no reason to not have healthy cheerleaders at the games. The histrionics and illusions of sexism aren’t helpful. Cheerleaders aren’t the only group being targeted by COVID fear-mongers.

  2. Tom Bombadil
    6:31 pm September 16, 2020 Permalink

    I second that Abbigale, everything you said is spot on! The Kentucky High School athletic commissioner is an idiot.. football games and cheerleaders have gone hand-in-hand since sports began… The girls can stand six feet apart what the hell! People are scared to death of their own shadow nowadays using covid as an excuse for alot of stupidity. People can decide if they want to go…People can decide if they want to participate in cheer activity. Micromanaging every aspect of our life… PEOPLE CAN DECIDE TO GO OR PLAY… The girls can decide themselves!.. It’s called FREEDOM!

    • Cousins Fake Tooth 2
      6:42 pm September 16, 2020 Permalink

      So which part of the football game are cheerleaders required to play during? They are non-essential and don’t need to be at the games.

    • Corder
      9:13 pm September 16, 2020 Permalink

      Don’t care about this much but football isn’t essential. It’s entertainment, that’s it. Life goes on with or without it. I want football but to in turn said what he said means football doesn’t need to happen either.

  3. BlueCat22
    6:41 pm September 16, 2020 Permalink

    Step down Mr. Tackett… time for change

    • mashman 93
      6:47 pm September 16, 2020 Permalink

      Spot on BlueCat22!!!! Get lost Tackett.

    • zoupman
      9:45 pm September 16, 2020 Permalink

      Tackett is a first class con man. Fact he is still on charge, makes me question the integrity of the entire organization.
      He has always let the large private schools cheat.

  4. Tom Bombadil
    6:57 pm September 16, 2020 Permalink

    What we have learned through all of this is that half or more of what we do in this country is non-essential. Football, baseball, basketball..all sports, cheerleading excetera excetera are non essential. Football is no more essential than cheerleading. And for some commissioner to say otherwise is a flat out joke! My point is we are all big boys and girls we don’t need some jackass telling us our every single step we take. There is a risk involved walking outside your door in life. So if this same jackass is going to say cheerleading is not essential well football is also non essential! Bigger picture is FREEDOM don’t lose it people!!

  5. kyfanem
    7:10 pm September 16, 2020 Permalink

    Pretty sexist assuming all cheerleaders are females. They’re not needed just like the band is not needed.

  6. kyle heavy
    7:28 pm September 16, 2020 Permalink

    This site has fallen so far. Bunch of liberal snowflakes. This post is something KSR would have made fun of years ago if another fan base wrote about it.

  7. Tom Bombadil
    7:28 pm September 16, 2020 Permalink

    Just like football is not needed…kyFanem….please stop with the stupidity… Everyone knows that guys and girls are Cheerleaders… Oh please stop crying sexist crap… You get the point of the article…. It takes a team to make the cheer team work. It’s about essential or non-essential keep up!
    (UK! National Cheer Champs I might add!! )
    We all get it!! Sexist!! Waaaah!! Focus on something besides always being butthurt in life.

    • kyle heavy
      7:30 pm September 16, 2020 Permalink

      But Tom… you may be missing the point. He said it’s non essential for football and they still have their own competition.

    • kyle heavy
      7:32 pm September 16, 2020 Permalink

      To quote him… “ but cheerleaders are not essential at a football game. They’re nice but not essential. They’ll be essential when they have their season. That’s their essential time.” Why is everyone butt hurt?

    • kyfanem
      9:36 am September 17, 2020 Permalink

      “Don’t even get me started on the internalized misogyny in that statement“ when he said the cheerleaders are nice to have. Misogyny is the prejudice against women. Therefor, she made the assumption that all cheerleaders are male and that would be sexist according to liberals.

    • kyfanem
      9:36 am September 17, 2020 Permalink


  8. Tom Bombadil
    7:52 pm September 16, 2020 Permalink

    Kyle you are missing the point it seems
    … Absolutely neither one is essential! There is no essential time non-essential time they both are non-essential. Go back and read everything I wrote… For real who’s who’s butt hurt you? It makes not a difference in life, the point is freedom. The commissioner said cheerleading is non-essential, also so is football do you get it? we are big boys and girls and can make up our own damn mind just called freedom

    • kyle heavy
      7:58 pm September 16, 2020 Permalink

      I understand the point you are trying to make. I’ll agree to disagree with our interpretations of the point he was trying to make.

  9. Tom Bombadil
    8:15 pm September 16, 2020 Permalink

    Ok Cheers Kyle!

    • kyle heavy
      8:35 pm September 16, 2020 Permalink

      Same to you brother. Go Cats.

  10. UKFanSC
    9:03 pm September 16, 2020 Permalink

    If you remember which is the chicken and which is the egg it’s pretty simple. Cheerleading is an organized confection. It’s hard to think of something less essential…..well maybe an airport bathroom attendant.

    It is not at all essential, but as this string demonstrates, there is a growing lunatic fringe that almost sees the football game as a diversion to their routines.

    • peaches76
      9:22 pm September 16, 2020 Permalink

      And if I may add….once the decision was made to plat football games in these times, why would some get torn up b/c concessions had to be made in order to have the games?? Geez. I’ve got relatives playing that I don’t get to go watch but I’m not whining about it. We’ve got enough whiners in the country these days.

    • UKFanSC
      9:38 pm September 16, 2020 Permalink


  11. UKinIN
    10:01 pm September 16, 2020 Permalink

    I’d like to propose that KSR Comment Sections are non-essential …

    • Bluehender
      9:56 am September 17, 2020 Permalink

      It’s how they know people are reading. And how they sell advertising..but it is non-essential to readers

  12. friendsofcoal
    12:37 am September 17, 2020 Permalink

    Tackett needs to go period! Thats the most idiotic statement that the leader of our states high school sports could ever make. How and why can high school kids play football (or any other sport) tackle each other, guard each other on the post (bball), and sling sweat on each other and girls (sometimes boys) can’t stand 6’ apart on the sideline and cheer??? The high school cheerleaders in my town are practicing. Folks, common sense went out the window from 2008-2016.

    My daughter is on her high school cheerleading squad and I told her sponsor (coach) that she should let them cheer anyway. Such BS!

    • Tom Bombadil
      12:23 pm September 17, 2020 Permalink

      You are in my humble opinion right on FriendsofCoal. Common sense when out the window during 2008-2016 when human beings in America couldn’t figure out what bathroom to use! LMAO! Human beings have walked this Earth for thousands upon thousands upon thousands of years and then all of a sudden couldn’t figure out the simple task of using the correct bathroom! I can’t make this up folks!!

  13. bbn606
    6:50 am September 17, 2020 Permalink

    Probably not the correct thing to say in today’s world but cheerleading has become a sport with their own competitions. So I guess it would be safe to say that football players tossing a ball around beside of them during their competition would be non-essential also.

  14. Bigblueswami
    8:08 am September 17, 2020 Permalink

    It’s a perspective/Perception problem whether anyone cares to admit it to themselves or not. The prevailing view is they are non-essential…until you have a son or daughter who does it… then your perspective changes. It’s a general society problem… viewing all problems through one lense without thought to other perspectives.

  15. truebluethroughandthrough
    10:26 am September 17, 2020 Permalink

    So let me get this straight…. Cheerleaders aren’t essential, but football is essential. Insanity. Way to make cheerleaders feel about an inch tall. Cheerleaders are just as essential as football. Unless…. All you care about it money. Which is the elephant in the room that has clearly reared its ugly face across the board. If you don’t think every decision made isn’t about padding wallets, you’re bad wrong. They don’t care about kids, they don’t care about fans, they don’t care about life or death, or sickness or well-being, they care about money and NOTHING but money. Lets not forget that moving forward.

    • Tom Bombadil
      12:30 pm September 17, 2020 Permalink

      TrueBlue! That was a most excellent comment! Thank you for that! “Right on the money!”