COVID-19 shocked the sports world to its core when it saw every major sport shut down and suspend play until further notice.
According to ESPN, the NBA has postponed its season, NCAA canceled spring sports, including March Madness, and the MLB has delayed opening day and canceled the London Series between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Chicago Cubs.
Postponing sports sounds like a great idea but that means many teams have had to lay off employees who work at their stadiums, leaving them without jobs. Such as the Boston Bruins, Washington Capitals, Edmonton Oilers, Ottawa Senators, Carolina Hurricanes, and the Arizona Coyotes.
However, there are teams who are paying their stadium employees in full such as the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Florida Panthers. There are also multiple athletes such as Kevin Love, Giannis Antetokumpo, Blake Griffin, George Springer, Trevor Bauer, and many more who are giving back to the laid-off employees from their stadiums by donating a certain amount of money to help them and their families according to Sports Illustrated.
ESPN has also included that The Angels are continuing to pay their stadium employees and will do so through the month of May. Along with Derek Jeter, who is forgoing his salary as the Miami Marlins CEO and paying his employees through May.
It has been great to see each league pitch in for those individuals who aren’t as fortunate as they are. Nevertheless, it is wrong for the NBA to push their luck and attempt to find another location to resume the season. During this pandemic, the only benefit of rescheduling the season would be the income of the millions of fans paying to stream the games.
However, everything isn’t about money. The risk of being exposed to the virus will drastically increase for teams as the NBA attempts to relocate them. During a time like this, extreme precaution needs to be taken in order to show people that they need to protect themselves.
There would still be money coming in because sports provide a sense of belonging to their fans. So when the season starts up again, they’ll buy jerseys and memorabilia. This could potentially make up for the ticket revenue that they are missing out on due to the current crisis.
They should suspend sports until further notice and not push their luck and try and find somewhere to play. If they start playing in remote locations and one player has the virus, everybody will get infected and the situation will only become worse than it already is.
If this situation gets worse they won’t have fans at their games for a long time, which means losing out on ticket revenue for this season that could possibly bleed into the next. If it got worse and people realized why, they would lose faith in their hometown teams and fans wouldn’t want to support them because they decided to prioritize their own agenda, despite COVID-19 not being under control.
This is why sports teams should wait until this is completely under control or at least until there is a cure that neutralizes the virus or when it is tolerable for people to be around each other so we don’t have to socially distance and actually enjoy sports the way sports was meant to be enjoyed, which is together as a community rooting for a common force or rooting against the enemy.