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With a throng of Michigan players, fans and supporters present outside Michigan Stadium, U-M head coach Jim Harbaugh showed his clear and utmost support for the #LetThemPlay movement, one that aims to convince the Big Ten to hold a fall football season.

At the protest on Saturday, between 50 and 70 people showed up to make a vocal statement regarding the Big Ten's decision to postpone the season. Players such as Aidan Hutchinson, Carlo Kemp, Andrew Stueber, Chris Evans and Dylan McCaffrey all showed up to make their voices heard, and the message sent was resounding-- Michigan football wants to return to the field as soon as possible.

At various times, players and engaged parents took turns speaking to the group as the protest started outside of Michigan Stadium and marched down State Street before eventually wrapping up at the Diag. Aidan Hutchinson's father, Chris, was one of the more active parents in organizing the demonstration, as was Carlo Kemp's mother. While both took various opportunities to back the U-M football program, Coach Harbaugh planted his foot down with a firm desire to play this fall.

“Free the Big Ten like my brother John Harbaugh said. He said it all,” Harbaugh said. “We want to be free to play.”

Along those lines, the Big Ten was rumored to hold a re-vote towards the end of this past week, but Harbaugh helped shed a little bit of light on the communication system within the athletic department. Right now, athletic director Warde Manuel handles all communication with U-M President Mark Schlissel, but Harbaugh did confirm that he has texted with the school president.

“I talked to Warde today,” Harbaugh said. “He didn't say anything about a vote. There's so much different information, you know?”

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Further than that, Harbaugh declined to comment on the state of the Big Ten's communication channels and instead spoke about the state of his football team, one that is continuing to practice and improve on a daily basis.

“I can tell you how practice was. I can tell you how workouts have been. I can tell you we just had another 120 tests that were all negative. That's close to 1,000 tests in a row completely negative. I can tell you how the guys grades are. That's really what I'm focusing on is just coaching our guys.”

During the protest, Harbaugh stressed that many players on his team have been training to play this season “for years, for their whole lives,” and that he is remorseful for what the Michigan student-athletes are going through.

One common theme throughout the demonstration was a sense of hope and cautious optimism. Hutchinson spoke about how the team is working hard during practice, and he thinks that starting the season at a later date in 2020 is a real possibility. Others, such as McCaffrey, feel that they have been misled by the powers at be and are hoping to send a message that Michigan is conducting football in a safe fashion and should be able to play this year. 

As any team should, Michigan was completely unified on Saturday. The players, parents, fans and coaches alike (including Jack Harbaugh) stood firm in their belief that the Big Ten should reverse its decision and hold a fall football season. 

While the 2020 season may seem like a moving target at points, Michigan football was clear: they want to play.

Do you think the Big Ten will backtrack and reverse its decision to postpone the 2020 season? Are protests like Saturday's effective in spreading a unified message? Let us know!