Players from one of Georgia’s top high school football teams walked out of practice this week to protest conditions they called too physical and dangerous.
Grayson High players complained of full-contact practices in shorts and inadequate attention to hydration and heat exposure, according to reports from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Gwinnett Daily Post.
The concerns at the Loganville, Ga., school date from the 2017 season, a parent told the Daily Post, when the training sessions resulted in “full-body cramps, multiple players with broken bones in their hands from excessive hitting in practice and players who are injured being called ‘soft’ and being ‘isolated.’ ”
Players walked out of practice Wednesday, and Coach Christian Hunnicutt met with the team the next day and apologized for the practice conditions, the AJC reported. He promised lighter practices in the future.
The protests come as the University of Maryland football program continues to navigate the fallout from the death of freshman offensive lineman Jordan McNair, who suffered from heatstroke during conditioning drills in late May and died two weeks later. University leaders are investigating what an ESPN report called an abusive culture at the school and have placed Coach DJ Durkin on administrative leave.
Grayson, 40 miles east of Atlanta, is the fifth-ranked team in the country, according to USA Today, and the No. 1 team in Georgia’s Class 7 division, according to the Georgia Sports Writers Association’s rankings.
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