COVID-19’s impact on the sports world

by Summer Neal

On Wednesday, March 11 at 2:10 pm, the Golden State Warriors announced there would be no fans in attendance through March 21 for their home games due to the spreading of COVID-19 (coronavirus). This announcement would start a chain of events that would turn the sports world upside down. The remaining part of the National Basketball Association (NBA) season would be postponed after a player tested positive, the Major League Soccer (MLS) season would be suspended for 30 days, the National Hockey League (NHL) season would be put on pause, the Major League Baseball (MLB) opening day was delayed two weeks, the Boston Marathon was postponed for the first time in history and the National Collegiate Athletic Association announced the rest of winter and spring sports championships all in fear of the spreading of the coronavirus, but were all of these cancellations and postponements necessary?


All of these actions were absolutely imperative. Take for example, the NBA. Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert was the first player to test positive for the coronavirus. In general, every NBA team plays about four games a week, meaning a team can travel to up to four different cities across the country in just seven days. NBA teams travel so frequently that even just one game almost a week ago can connect all 30 of the NBA teams. One player’s actions could lead to the contamination of 450 players (not including the team staff and fans in attendance). By stopping play until it is safe to start again, is helping to stop the spread of such a dangerous disease that already has over 160,000 confirmed cases. 


As of March 15, 16 soccer players across the world had already tested positive for the coronavirus. By suspending play for a month, the MLS is attempting to protect not only the 780 players, but also team staff and the average of 20,000 fans at each game. By giving 30 days to pass, the spread of the virus should have weakened, allowing games to be safely played. 


On the other hand, completely cancelling some of these events could have been avoided. For example, completely cancelling all of the winter and spring championships in the NCAA. By doing this, you take away the senior seasons of so many athletes that may never get a chance to play the sport they love again. Postponing these events however would push into other championships and is just not feasible. The NCAA will be giving all spring athletes relief for a season of eligibility due to the cancellations of their seasons. 


While sports fans don’t know what to do with themselves because the only sport on TV right now is bowling, these cancellations and postponements are helping them out in the end. By attempting to stop the spread from person to person, they are saving the lives of so many athletes and sports figures who we all hold near and dear to our hearts.

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