Coronavirus Update in the Sports World
Updated: Aug 9, 2020
By Danny Cohen
Sports & Layout Editor
On March 11, 2020, Utah Jazz Center Rudy Gobert tested positive for the Coronavirus, causing the NBA to suspend its season. Shortly after, the rest of the sports world shut down indefinitely. So far, it is unclear when each league will return, but we will only learn more as time goes by.
The MLB has yet to begin their season, and right now, the league is looking at options to play in Arizona, Florida, and Texas without any fans, but even that is unlikely. The best-case scenario for the baseball season is to begin in mid-June, and if that happens, it would be without fans, with players possibly staying in hotels. Realistically, MLB may not open until July or August of 2020.
Starting May 15, the NBA cut their players’ checks by 25%, displaying the league’s doubt of playing any more regular-season games. What will likely happen is that all of the teams that currently have a playoff spot will participate in the playoffs, but the starting date is very uncertain. Because there is no basketball, some of the players participated in an NBA 2K tournament, which was streamed on live TV. The broadcast entertained fans with the only type of live basketball they could watch: virtual hoops. Additionally, the NBA organized a H.O.R.S.E. tournament, where active and retired NBA players participated, along with some WNBA players. In terms of the NBA draft, players are unable to participate in team workouts and in-person interviews. This has affected many college athletes’ decision to either stay another year in college or to declare for the NBA draft, without being able to improve their draft-stock.
Basketball was not the only sport that was shut down due to the pandemic, as the NHL was suspended shortly after the NBA. Although the NHL would still like to have a few regular-season games, the plan and expectation are to have the Stanley Cup Playoffs in the summer, without any regular-season games. Like everything else, the NHL will have to wait and see until they make a major decision.
The NFL, however, is the only Big 4 Sports League that will continue on schedule as the online NFL Draft held on April 23 through April 25 was successful. Regarding the NFL Free Agency, players may not meet with teams in person, but there have still been major moves within the league which include Tom Brady signing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and DeAndre Hopkins being traded to the Arizona Cardinals.
Hopefully, by September the coronavirus will be history and the season can start on time. It has now been almost three months since sports have been canceled, and while there is some optimism that sports will return relatively soon, we do not know anything for sure. Only time will tell.