Four days ago in Lansing, we saw the kinder, gentler side of what happens when a group of people are pushed to the point of having no other option but to protest.

As another month of winter has fallen by the wayside with no contact sports whatsoever, student-athletes, coaches, parents and administrators have had to endure delay after delay.

What they've been told for so long by those in charge is littered with contradictions and no explanations to fill the void of doubt that's been cast on the Michigan prep sports scene.

So, like any other passionate Michigander who feels their voice isn't being heard and wants to make it audible, these nice folks made the trip right to the steps of the Capitol.

It was a significant event in this growing #LetThemPlay saga that's come about, essentially, out of necessity, and it's the first one attended a BR or Reed City-based team.

Members of the Big Rapids girls basketball team, along with coach Jessica Haist, descended upon Lansing on Saturday afternoon, joining a mass of kids who simply just want to play.

While the BR girls were on the steps of the Capitol, a group of boys holding large letter signs spelling out "Let Us Play" could be seen only a few feet away.

That group of boys happened to be members from Reed City's boys hoops squad.

In a moment that's truly a sign of the times, the Big Rapids girls and Reed City boys -- two groups that it's safe to assume probably don't have too many run-ins -- came together in that moment for a common goal.

On those steps, it didn't matter if you were a Cardinal or a Coyote.

On that day, all that mattered was that you wanted to play and that you're tired of being strung along from one delay to the next, while the winter season steadily slips away.

I'll allow it.

Regardless of what might come from this weekend's protest at the Capitol, one thing is now as abundantly clear as it has ever been: the kids need to play.

They need to have contact in their practices, and more than one week before the season is allegedly supposed to begin.

If that honestly cannot safely happen, like it has in virtually every other state in the country, then these kids need real, genuine answers.

They're not dumb and they know when someone is being less than honest with them.

What happened Saturday is a prime example of this, and we will start to see more of it unless some major changes are made in the not-so-distant future.

It's been a long time coming.

Joe Judd is a reporter for the Star. He can be reached at Joe.Judd@pioneergroup.com.