PineApple Report | July 22, 2020
The PineApple report interviewed via telephone Dr. Steve Gallon III upon hearing that he would be introducing a Board item at the upcoming August 12th meeting to have Miami-Dade School Public Schools ( M-DCPS) withdraw from the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA). Dr. Gallon is being motivated by Monday’s FHSAA decision to retain its fall sports as scheduled.
We asked Dr. Gallon what were his initial thoughts when he heard about the decision of the FHSAA to continue fall sports as scheduled.
“I felt that it was consistent with the dance of disregard and disrespect that many feel come from the FHSAA toward schools in the South Florida area, schools that are predominantly attended by black, brown, and poor students,” Gallon stated.
Apparently, Dr. Gallon has inspired other powerful elected officials to weigh in from all sides of the political spectrum. State Senator Manny Diaz, who is also from South Florida, posted on social media his concerns about the FHSAA’s decision. According to Dr. Gallon he has already been contacted by numerous other elected officials and school districts that are contemplating their support to withdraw from the FHSAA.
We asked Dr. Gallon why does he think that this issue has resonated so widely and quickly.
“Sports has a way of uniting people. It is no different in South Florida and is especially a unifier at the high school level. Last year, South Florida broke records in the number of FHSAA high school football titles we brought home. I was proud to have been a catalyst for the realignment that led to this. However, we all know that when we won 7 out of 8 titles, there was some contention with people from other parts of the state.”
Dr. Gallon went on. “This in some people’s mind appears to be retribution and ‘their’ way of ensuring that it is not repeated this year.”
Miami-Dade and Broward are the epicenters for confirmed COVID-19 cases around the state and even around the nation. The decision of the FHSAA appears to not have taken that under consideration.
“Regards for our positivity rates? They clearly had no regards for the recommendation of their own Sports Medicine Advisory Committee which recommended a later start date for fall sports statewide. This is an issue of equity, fairness, and opportunity for all students in Florida. If we feel that those issues are not being properly represented by an association of which we are members and pay dues, a sizable amount from South Florida I might add, then we have an obligation to protect the health, safety, opportunities, and overall welfare of our students athletes. Doing so may require us to ensure that representation is equitable, fairly and consistently provided. Even if it is no longer from the FHSAA.”