Article by Lorenzo Serrato, Sports Intern
Photos courtesy of Unsplash
As the sports world continues to grapple with the Coronavirus pandemic, several major sports leagues have come to the conclusive decision to suspend and delay the remainder of their seasons. With the rapid spread of COVID-19, the safety of athletes, fans, media and stadium workers all play an important role in this difficult, but precautionary choice.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver has postponed the last few weeks remaining in the regular season, even though playoffs were looming right around the corner. Shortly before the announcement, Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for the virus, which was then followed by several other players contracting COVID-19, including teammate Donovan Mitchell.
The NHL followed the NBA’s lead by suspending the remainder of its season as well. The decision, made by commissioner Gary Bettman, came just one day after the NBA’s ruling. The Ottawa Senators recently announced that an unidentified player tested positive for COVID-19, making him the first NHL player with a reported case of the virus. Both the NBA and NHL have abided by The Center for Disease Control and Prevention and plan to continue monitoring the situation before making more decisions about the rest of their seasons.
Unlike the NBA and NHL, the MLB season has not started quite yet. With spring training wrapping up in the coming weeks, players were advised to head home and quarantine with their families. MLB commissioner Rob Manfred has delayed the start of Opening Day, which was scheduled for Thursday, March 26. The start of play has been delayed indefinitely and, as of right now, it is unclear when the season will begin.
As the Coronavirus continues to spread, it is unclear when the sports industry will get back on its feet. The shutdown of sports across the country has left many fans both worried and in awe. Though we don’t know when normalcy will be restored, one thing is absolutely certain. The safety and health of all of those involved and connected to professional sports is a top priority moving forward throughout this pandemic.