MSHSL stops Waseca hockey teams from wearing uniforms to honor Arik Matson

The uniforms can only be worn during warmups.
Publish date:

11:20 A.M. UPDATE

The Minnesota State High School League has sent Bring Me The News this statement: 

"The Minnesota State High School League and Waseca Public Schools deeply appreciate the involvement of the Waseca community, its boys and girls hockey programs and other athletic programs in honoring and supporting Officer Matson and the Waseca Police Department. The MSHSL and Waseca High School administration have been in communication this past week in identifying ways in which appropriate recognition can be demonstrated. This includes following the National Federation of High Schools uniform rules and policies which limits the size of alterations to commemorate individuals or events within competition.

"Waseca also appreciates the support and creativity of Gemini Athletic in supplying commemorative jerseys for this important endeavor. The MSHSL will continue to work with all member schools and support them in ways to honor and commemorate individuals in their communities."

Original story

Attempting to support a Minnesota police officer shot in the line of duty, the Waseca Bluejays varsity hockey teams have been blocked from wearing uniforms specially made to honor officer Arik Matson and the Waseca Police Department. 

Waseca High School announced Jan. 14 that it would be wearing the uniforms with pride, only to be informed by the Minnesota State High School League that the uniforms broke policy. 

"We have been notified by the MSHSL that these uniforms do not meet their policy for Special Recognitions, Commemorative or Memorial Patches," the boys' hockey team announced in a tweet Thursday. "Waseca Boys/Girls will not be allowed to wear them for games. However we will continue to support Law Enforcement & Officer Matson." 

According to the Star Tribune, the uniforms had already been donated by Gemini Athletic when the school found out that players couldn't wear them during games. Instead, they've elected to wear them during warmups. 

“We would like to wear them for a game,” said Chris Storey, coach of the boys' team, via the Star Tribune. “If not, it’s not going to stop us from raising awareness and supporting this officer. It’s the best we can do right now.”

Bring Me The News' request for an explanation about the uniform bylaws has not been returned by the MSHSL. 

The uniforms say "Waseca Police" on the front with Matson's badge number near the shoulder and "Matson" above player numbers on the back. 

Matson, 32, was shot in the head while responding to a report of a suspicious person on Jan. 6. According to his CaringBridge page, Matson continues to show signs of improvement. 

Despite being blocked from wearing the uniforms, Waseca has lined the glass around the arena with the uniforms, while also encouraging the public to purchase the uniforms and other Waseca PD-related apparel from Gemini Athletic, with a portion of the proceeds going to Matson's family. 

Also supporting Matson's family is the Marshall High School boys' and girls' hockey teams, who will donate all ticket money collected before Friday's games against Waseca to the Matson family. 

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