Aug. 16 (UPI) -- Ohio State Buckeyes star quarterback Justin Fields, one of the Big Ten's most prominent players, has started a petition requesting the conference immediately reinstate its 2020 football season.
Fields tweeted Sunday that "this cause is close to my heart" and urged people to sign the online petition, which has amassed more than 200,000 signatures as of 10:30 p.m. EDT Sunday. The petition asked the Big Ten to allow its players and teams to make their own decisions on playing or opting out this fall.
In the petition, Fields wrote that players believe "the safety protocols have been established and can be maintained to mitigate concerns of exposure to COVID-19." He went on to say that he believes the players "should have the right to make decisions about what is best for our health and our future."
The online campaign comes five days after the Big Ten announced it was postponing fall sports this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Big Ten became the first among the Power-Five conferences to make that decision.
The Pac-12 followed suit and voted to cancel its fall sports season through the end of the year, a decision that also halted basketball. The ACC, SEC and Big 12 are currently moving forward with plans to compete in the fall.