Ohio State junior quarterback Justin Fields started a petition Sunday pushing for the immediate reinstatement of Big Ten football following the conference’s decision to cancel all fall sports Aug. 11.
Fields tweeted the petition and said, “This cause is close to my heart.” The request is addressed directly to Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren alongside university presidents and athletic directors within the conference.
Fields’ petition garnered more than 100,000 signatures in four hours.
“We, the football players of the Big Ten, together with the fans and supporters of college football, request that the Big Ten Conference immediately reinstate the 2020 football season,” Fields said in the petition. “Allow Big Ten players/teams to make their own choice as to whether they wish to play or opt-out this fall season. Allow Big Ten players/teams who choose to opt-out of playing a fall season to do so without penalty or repercussion.”
In addition to football, the Big Ten’s postponement of fall sports includes cross-country, field hockey, soccer and women’s volleyball.
The Big Ten was the first Power Five conference to cancel sports this fall, followed by the Pac-12. However, both the Southeastern Conference and Atlantic Coast Conference separately announced intentions to continue pursuing a scheduled football season this fall.
“We want to play,” Fields said in the petition. “We believe that safety protocols have been established and can be maintained to mitigate concerns of exposure to COVID 19. We believe that we should have the right to make decisions about what is best for our health and our future. Don’t let our hard work and sacrifice be in vain.”