Uncertainty across the sports world

Ever since the COVID-19 virus hit, major sports leagues have taken damage to their revenue and even had to shut down. Not only has the epidemic grasped the fear of all sports fans, but it has taken over some professional athletes.

Last week, as the virus spread, it began affecting professional sports, including basketball, football, baseball, hockey, soccer, tennis and racing. In the NBA, All-Star Rudy Gobert contracted the virus; it was announced on March 11, not long after the Utah Jazz center made a comment about how insignificant the virus was. 

After his game against the Toronto Raptors, Gobert made a point at his postgame interview to touch all the microphone equipment showing how coronavirus is just not as scary as it seems. Ironically, Gobert had the virus and even transmitted it to a Jazz teammate, Donavan Mitchell. 

Due to the two All-Stars testing positive for the virus, the NBA announced the suspension of the season. 

Once the NBA took steps to minimize damage in their league, other sports leagues quickly followed suit. Just a day after the NBA’s announcement, the Major League Soccer, Major League Baseball, Association of Tennis Professionals, Formula 1 racing and the NFL all found their own way of preventing the spread of the virus. Either by canceling their major events or suspending the regular season, each sports league has committed to stop regular play and suggested athletes rest in the comfort of their homes. Though the measures taken are simply too extreme and too early, the decisions made by each league have prioritized every members’ safety. 

The spread of the coronavirus has not shown signs of slowing down in most parts of the world, meaning it will eventually impact one of the biggest sports events of the year, the Summer Olympics. According to the Daily Mail UK, the organization committee for the Olympics is not considering a cancelation or postponement of Tokyo 2020. 

As sports fans, the idea of the Olympics continuing seems unlikely, but we must also consider the athletes. Even though Japan is considered one of the healthiest countries in the world, they still have cases of coronavirus and even deaths. An event such as the Olympics will surely bring millions of viewers from all over the world and each viewer is susceptible to the quickly-moving virus. 

With billions of dollars already committed to the event, many of the Olympics sponsors will lose tons of revenue if the event is officially canceled. Also, looking back in history, the only time the Olympics were canceled was because of war; the Olympics still took place during the flu pandemic and even the HIV pandemic. Though the Olympics will still continue, organizers should be safe rather than sorry and focus on making sure the athletes are not at risk rather than obtaining the most revenue.

Due to the coronavirus, each sports league should keep their athletes from harm’s way, but they should still find a compromise to give the fans what they want to see, which is sports competition at the highest level.