National Sports Take a Hit from the Coronavirus

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Halie Hulin, Sports Writer

The coronavirus has taken over the nation in the past couple of months and caused many cancellations and closings. Schools across the country have been suspended for at least two weeks and some even closed for the rest of the school year. Group gatherings of more than 100 people are required to be canceled and restaurants in some areas have closed their dining rooms and only offer carryout. In the midst of everything, sporting events across the country have come to a halt. Some examples are the NBA (National Basketball Association), MLB (Major League Baseball), NHL (National Hockey League), MLS (Major League Soccer), and all NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) tournaments/games. 

What really shocked Americans was the cancellation of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. Thousands of fans attend the games every year and look forward to seeing their teams face opponents and seeing how accurate their bracket estimates will be. At first, the NCAA planned on continuing to have the games and broadcast them live but not allow fans in the stadiums to prevent the spread of the disease. They called this a “fanless tournament”. This was the plan until they were required to cancel the tournament. 

For the NBA, safety precautions weren’t taken soon enough. Rudy Gobert, a player for the Utah Jazz, was diagnosed with coronavirus the week of March 8th. Gobert jokingly went around and touched every reporter’s mic after leaving a media event on March 9th. Soon after, Gobert was diagnosed and released a public apology stating that he should’ve taken the virus “more seriously” and realized he had put people at risk. Since then 6 more players, Donovan Mitchell from Utah Jazz, Christian Wood from Detroit Pistons, Kevin Durant from Brooklyn Nets and three more Brooklyn Nets players have tested positive for the virus.

Sports associations worldwide are taking the best safety precautions they can to keep teams, fans, and staff healthy. Some tournaments and games have been rescheduled while others are canceled for the season. Either way, safety, and health is the first thing in mind for the organizations and they are doing their best to please the public with the situation at hand.