Charlie Kirk Claims There Will Be Hundreds Of Suicides If College Football Is Canceled
Charlie Kirk, a right-wing commentator and founder of the conservative non-profit Turning Point USA, expressed great concern over the risks he associates with canceling college football season because of COVID-19. He says that if the college athletes aren’t allowed to play, there will be suicides by the hundreds.
Kirk has been making college football a part of his platform for a few days, maintaining that America “needs” these sporting events. Right now, there is a divide over whether there will be a season at all. According to the Washington Post, conferences including the Big Ten and Pac-12 have decided there can’t be enough certainty of players’ safety to move forward with games. Currently, 54 of the 130 teams that comprise the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) won’t be participating this year.
Charlie Kirk feels this is a dangerous decision. In a radio clip captured by Media Matters For America‘s Jason Campbell, he said that it will cause suicides.
Charlie Kirk: "Hundreds of people will commit suicide if you cancel college football" pic.twitter.com/Hi3vWo4Kdo
— Jason Campbell (@JasonSCampbell) August 13, 2020
This is not just about a game. It’s not just about an activity. It shouldn’t be a partisan issue…They’ve taken everything, and now they’re going to take college football from us as well…To take something that has so much meaning to so many people, under the guise of safety, is unthinkable to me. It really is Hundreds of people will commit suicide if you cancel college football. Think about that. Hundreds of people right now that are breathing will most likely commit suicide if you remove something that has such incredible meaning to people as college football.
For three days, Kirk has tweeted to assert that college football is necessary to America, and that the conferences that have canceled don’t care about players and fans, and that these conferences, that actually literally organize football seasons, are anti-football radicals who have had a longstanding secret goal to destroy the sport.
America Needs College Football.
— Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) August 10, 2020
The @bigten Conference doesn’t care about their students, athletes, or alumni.
What a disgrace to America they are. Disgusting and pathetic. This cannot stand!
America needs college football.
Defund the Big Ten!
— Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) August 11, 2020
The Pac12 and Big10 have publicly declared they don’t care about their students, athletes, alumni, or fans
They represent an ever-shrinking, bitter, radical group of anti-science alarmists who have been trying to destroy football for years
— Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) August 12, 2020
ESPN, meanwhile, has been reporting on the effects of Major League Baseball’s attempts to go forward with their season, noting just this past weekend that COVID-19 outbreaks had already caused “more than a dozen postponements or schedule shifts, affecting eight different teams.” It’s not clear how much difference there might be in the impact of the pandemic on football, a very contact-driven sport.