COVID-19: No match for sports


Graphic by Luke Jordan

Sports leagues are able to overcome the COVID-19 obstacle.

The contentious topic of sports leagues stopping play due to COVID-19 is nothing new. The cancellation of the BNF Paribas Open, a tennis tournament, on Mar. 8 of this year was the first of such, and led the way in other events meeting a similar fate. During the downtime, however, workarounds were conceived and plans were created. These efforts were ultimately found successful, allowing sports—the backbone of society—to be up and running once again.

With the basketball and hockey seasons cut short, the NBA and NHL needed a way to crown champions of their respective leagues. With zero COVID-19 cases between the two leagues through it all, it’s safe to say that the bubbles worked like charms. The idea was simple: athletes and other personnel must quarantine for two weeks before they can get anywhere near the court/rink. It may be a lot of work and require a lot of manpower, but it’s a great way to keep the players safe and the fans entertained.

While the NBA and NHL were able to start their playoffs preemptively, the MLB and MLS needed to play their entire seasons. The sheer length of even the shortened baseball and soccer seasons would’ve taken too much time for the bubble method, not to mention they’re both outdoor sports. Despite this, the two leagues were able to power through and crown their own respective champions just like the NBA and NHL. With the NFL season currently underway, it’s highly unlikely the Super Bowl will be canceled.

A loss of a sports season would leave thousands unemployed, whether it be those employed by the teams directly or venue staff. There are players, coaches, medics, cameramen, scoreboard operators, security guards and vendors just to name a few jobs at risk. Considering all that it takes to put on a sporting event, it’s important that games are played to prevent these people from being out of a job.

The possibility of season cancellation has been in the back of sports fans’ minds for months now. From the outside looking in, it’s easy to say that these leagues should stop playing strictly based on COVID-19 alone. Considering numerous leagues have been able to pull off shortened seasons with minimal COVID-19 cases, and the fact that the livelihoods of thousands of team and venue employees would be in jeopardy otherwise, it’s in the best interest of these leagues to continue playing.