The global pandemic of 2020 has affected so many of us, particularly athletes in various sectors within the sports industry. While there were many problems that arose with the return of professional sports, in many cases, the sports league handled everything with care. When it was announced that sports would return to international audiences, it seemed as though fans had a mixture of feelings; some felt as though without safety precautions, sports could be dangerous while others demanded an immediate return.
When many professional athletes were told to come back to play, there were various concerns. The biggest issue among athletes regarded their families. Towards the start of the resumption, some players decided to not play as they did not want to be away from their families. Star goalie for the Boston Bruins, Tuuka Rask, made his decision to not participate in the Stanley Cup Final. The Bruins ended up losing, sending the team home with many fans thinking that Rask was the reason they lost. Giannis Antetokounmpo, NBA player for the Milwaukee Bucks, told reporters, “Just going in there for like a month or a month and a half before you see your family, that’s gonna be tough.” If players decided to play, once they returned home, could they have got the virus and passed it onto their loved ones? Players thought about reasons like this and ultimately chose what to do.
To resume the season of sports, safety guidelines needed to be carried out to ensure a safe and health environment. Afterall, the safety of the players and staff was the sports’ leagues number one concern. The National Basketball Association teams were flown out to Disney World in Orlando, Florida where the players and staff would sleep and play their remaining games. Within the NBA, around 10 days after arriving in Orlando, two players were tested positive for the virus. With a sport like hockey, the teams reported to Toronto and Edmonton in Canada. The National Hockey League was extremely successful in maintaining the virus from the players. In fact, the NHL was probably the most successful because they did not report one covid case while the teams were playing. With the recent start of football across the country, there have been reports of players and even entire teams getting sick. Quarterback for the New England Patriots, Cam Newton, tested positive and was forced to miss a game. The Tennessee Titans football team had a handful of players and staff members also test positive. Baseball teams have also had many players getting sick. In fact, early in the season, the Miami Marlins and other teams saw their athletes testing positive which shocked the country.
While many of us wanted sports to return, was it too fast? These questions are still not yet completely answered but of course as time passes we will have more and more updates. It has been extremely hard on all of us, but athletes have had such a high exposure to COVID-19 and it seems like every week there are more players testing positive. If we want sports to continue, we will have to try our best to keep everyone safe.