Spartan Logo

Pembroke Academy Track & Field

Running Icon

Fire Me If You Must

This is the email I sent that started it all:

Fire Me If You Must 
To all Parents, Coaches, Administrators, Taxpayers, Politicians, and Athletes Who May Care,
I am currently the Head Coach of the Pembroke Academy Spartans Track & Field team.
I have just been informed by the Pembroke Athletic Director that during this spring’s track and field meets all athletes will be required to wear masks during all races - 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m, mile, 2 mile - plus long jump, triple jump, and high jump.
Below you will find my response to this insane, irrational, stupid decision.
I am sending this email to those I know who might be interested - it is also available at Feel free to copy or forward this to anyone else who you think might be interested.
If you are so inclined please let your coaches, athletic directors, administrators, other parents, or athletes know what you think as well.
Pembroke Academy contacts can be found here:
SAU53 School Board contacts can be found here:
If you want updates to this saga I’ll be posting them to
Finally to all of my athletes. I love coaching all of you. I love watching you learn and grow and mature and excel. It is one of the greatest joys of my life. I deeply regret what is being done to you in the name of helping you - it is unfair and unjustified - but perhaps something good will come out of this.
I am planning to start up a private track and field club that will be available to anyone and everyone during the summer and fall. I plan to still coach no matter what, just likely in a different capacity.
I will always be available for advice or help, track and field related or otherwise.
Coach Brad Keyes

My Response To The Pembroke Athletic Director, Fred Vezina

I’ll come straight to the point. 
I will not put kids on the track and tell them to run any races while wearing masks.
I could play the ‘someone might get hurt’ card. I could ask what about the kids with asthma? I could point out that kids in the 400m and 800m sometimes end up throwing up at the end of a hard race. I could mention that occasionally they come close to, or even pass out. I could warn that wearing masks while exerting themselves to the limit of their physical capabilities could be dangerous.
But those excuses are the same ones used for these insane rules in the first place - someone might be hurt, someone might be sick - no matter how small the actual chance of it happening is.
No, the real reason I won’t do it is because it’s senseless, irrational, cowardice bullshit and I will not help cover that up.
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 the sun shining.
…Please show me the science about how much the virus spreads outdoors.
I will not deceive them into thinking that these restrictions are somehow necessary or sensible.
…Show me the contact tracing data that shows spread between athletes, or anyone else, outside.
I will not pretend or try to convince them that they are at some grave risk and the masks are going to save them.
…Show me the data on infections, hospitalizations, and deaths for 14-18 year old athletes…
I keep hearing that we’re following the science. There is no science behind these restrictions. No, this is not about protecting the athletes, or even their families, it’s all about covering bureaucratic asses.
I will not try to convince these kids that what’s being done to them is right, fair, thoughtful, or sensible.
These insane policies are robbing kids of once in a lifetime opportunities for no valid reason other than irrational fears and going along with the sheep.
I will not take any part in these policies which are taking a bad situation and making it needlessly, and cruelly, worse.
If I am coaching the kids will not be wearing masks while running or racing.
I plan to be at our first practice on Monday unless I hear from you otherwise.
I had planned on simply quitting, but I’ve decided not to do that.
I regret putting you in this position.
Fire me if you must.
Bradley Keyes