Ball talk: the world of sports coronavirus
The coronavirus has taken over professional sports and everyone is asking questions: Do we cancel the season? Do we play without fans? How will the players know to shoot the ball if I don’t yell it at them? As of right now the NHL, NBA, MLB, MLS and NCAA have suspended their seasons — including March Madness — due to the outbreak.
The first professional athlete in the U.S. to test positive for the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) was Utah Jazz All-Star Rudy Gobert. Gobert was incredibly careless, touching other people’s belongings, touching every reporter’s mic at a recent press conference, and intending to play when he was feeling ill before he knew his illness was actually COVID-19. On Tuesday, Gobert received his positive COVID-19 test results before the Utah Jazz were scheduled to play the Oklahoma City Thunder and the game was immediately canceled, as were all other games that were not already in progress. After Gobert tested positive for COVID-19, the Utah Jazz tested 58 people they believed to be at risk of having been in contact with the disease. The only person who tested positive was fellow All-Star Donovan Mitchell.
On Wednesday, the NBA officially suspended their season. The league is expected to review the suspension in 30 days to decide if the season will continue. On Thursday, the NHL also suspended their season, but apparently has no intention of missing the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The owners believe that the season does not need to be finished. Also on Thursday, MLB delayed opening day by at least two weeks.
The amount of money that will be lost by all of the organizations involved is staggering. Much of the teams’ revenues come from the playoffs that may be deferred this season.
I want to give a big shout out to Dallas Mavericks’ owner, Mark Cuban, for caring about the little guy. Cuban is working on setting up a program to make sure his team’s arena workers, who are now out of a job due to the season being over, are still making enough money to live despite being out of a job. Since then, several players, including Zion Williamson, Kevin Love, Blake Griffin and others have announced that they are donating at least $100,000 to ensure workers will be paid for the next 30 days.
I do not want to make any assumptions about this disease and whether or not professional sports will be back — quite frankly, everyone’s health is much more important. For now, keep washing your hands, stop sneezing in people’s mouths, and just try to stay healthy, people! Good luck.