A New Hampshire high school track-and-field coach who was fired after informing the school's athletic director he would not allow his athletes to wear masks while competing spoke out on "Tucker Carlson Tonight" Friday.
In an email to Pembroke Academy athletic director Fred Vezina, Bradley Keyes called the decision to require masks during events "senseless, irrational, cowardice buls---"
"I will not stand up in front of the kids and lie to them and tell them that these masks are doing anything worthwhile out in an open field with wind blowing and sun shining ... I will not deceive them into thinking that these restrictions are somehow necessary or sensible," he wrote, concluding his missive by telling Vezina: "I regret putting you in this position. Fire me if you must."
Keyes told Carlson that before sending his message, he ran some 200- and 400-meter sprints with a mask on.
"I knew it would be bad," he said. "Everything has to come through the fabric. It takes extremely exhausting races and makes them significantly worse. Then I got thinking about what’s happening with any particles that are coming off the masks. What are you actually breathing into your lungs over and over again? I got even more concerned about the possible health effects."
In the wake of his firing, Keyes said he hoped any administrator at Pembroke Academy, located just outside Concord, would have spoken up in defense of the policy.
"I haven’t heard anything. I’m thinking we won’t, because I don’t think there’s a way to stand up and justify this," Keyes said.
The former coach explained that he held the coaching job on a part-time basis, and conceded that Pembroke was within its legal right to fire him.
"I have a full-time job elsewhere. I’m self-employed. It’s not about the money. I’m not even worried about being fired. I won’t work in an organization that does that anyway," he said.
"I put their backs against the wall. I didn’t give them much of a choice. I was hoping for a reaction because I wanted to get some other people start talking. My goal is to get these mandates removed. It’s not just track and field. It’s tennis, baseball; every outdoor sport."