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Judge denies high school sports group’s bid to protest Walz COVID restrictions

Plus: the Vikings’ social justice activism; worker on Line 3 project dies; Har Mar Superstar is delivering mail; and more.

Judge Tunheim
MinnPost photo by Peter Callaghan

Looking forward to this valuable lesson in sportsmanship as Let Them Play graciously accepts this ruling. The Star Tribune’s Paul Klauda reports: “A federal judge has denied a legal challenge by a group that claimed its inability to gather for a protest of Gov. Tim Walz’s pause on youth sports violated its First Amendment rights. … The group, with a Facebook membership of 23,000, filed a lawsuit on Dec. 10 in U.S. District Court challenging Walz’s order to pause youth sports to help control the spread of COVID-19. … The group sought to protest the order last month in a rally on the State Capitol grounds but the state denied the request. … Judge John Tunheim ruled Friday that Let Them Play MN had failed to prove its claims.

Long piece in Sports Illustrated on the Vikings’ activism. Greg Bishop writes: “Eric Kendricks jogged onto the turf for the Vikings’ season opener, his long, curly, black hair bouncing atop his shoulder pads, his eyes scanning the most surreal football scene imaginable. … The 66,200 seats at U.S. Bank Stadium were silent and sterilized, empty except for the one family spread between adjacent luxury boxes perched above the field. … That family came from Texas, mostly, visiting the city where the worst tragedy that ever happened to them had been broadcast all over the world four months earlier. They arrived Saturday, stayed in a hotel downtown and rode a passenger bus over, settling into the corner end zone above Section 138 and snacking on shrimp cocktails, pizza and cold cuts. The Vikings handed out No. 88 jerseys, the same number their slain relative, George Floyd, wore during his high school football career; compiled a video tribute to him; and chose not to sound the Gjallarhorn for the first time since 2007, calling for a ‘more unified society.’”

Death on the job at Line 3. WDIO reports:A contractor died at a construction yard in Hill City on Friday morning. … Enbridge Energy said authorities are on the scene and in the process of notifying the contractor’s family. The company said construction work in the area was paused on Friday, and that safety standards and protocols were reinforced during a safety stand down across the project. … The nature of the incident was not immediately known. The company said it is making grief counseling available for workers and members of the team.”

A lot of musicians would kill to join the Postal Service. At Mpls.St.Paul, Steve Marsh writes: “We’re still a week out from the start of the busy holiday delivery season, but at least one neighborhood’s mailman has already achieved celebrity status. As the lid on a Northeast Minneapolis mailbox thwaps shut and the mailman merrily walks away, an elementary school distance learner scrambles through the front door and into the overcast November morning. … ‘Hey!’ the kid yelps. ‘It’s HAR MAR SUPERSTAR!’ … Good eye, kid. On this autumn Wednesday, musician and performer Har Mar Superstar, né Sean Tillmann, isn’t on the road touring or in rehearsal. He’s out delivering the mail—outfitted head to toe in official U.S. Postal Service–issued flannel blues. This is his fifth week as a city carrier assistant, or CCA, earning $17-something an hour plus overtime and clocking around 25,000 steps a day.”

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In other news…

Listen to treason:On Twitter, Mike Lindell Calls For Martial Law To Be Declared In Minnesota” [WCCO]

Preserving George Floyd murals:Rescuing the plywood — and memorializing a movement” [MPR]

One word — plastics:Sauk Centre farmer creates bumper crop…of backyard hockey rinks” [KSTP]

Nice:This holiday season, NDSU students are hacking toys so kids can play” [MPR]