WREG joins news organizations to protest media ban from Collierville football game

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — WREG joined with The Commercial Appeal and The Daily Memphian on Friday to protest a total media ban from a football game at Collierville High School.

A Collierville schools spokesperson said there will be no more than 650 people allowed at Friday night’s game against Briarcrest, in a stadium seating 5,000, and media would not be allowed at the game as they work out safety protocols.

“The safety and well-being of our students, families, and spectators will take top priority and precedents during every game night, but especially throughout our COVID-19 pandemic. This is becoming our new ‘normal,'” school spokesman Mario Hogue said in a statement. “We are scaling back all of our game night operations, decreasing seating capacity, and offering ticket availability to specific community members (athletic team driven).”

But an attorney speaking on behalf of the media organizations said in a letter to Collierville schools late Friday that the decision to ban media but allow other spectators raises free-speech issues, saying the district “is flagrantly disregarding its obligations under the law concerning media access to a public event held on public property.”

Collierville school officials so far have not answered questions about whether spectators at the game will be required to wear masks, or how spacing will be enforced.

A copy of the letter is below.

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