Sports is supposed to be an outlet for people to get away from the problems going on around the world. Well, that is about to change for the time being because the very real pandemic has just entered and distributed the sports world.
In the matter of less 48 hours, practically every sporting event that was scheduled to be played before April 1 has been cancelled or suspended due the coronavirus. The wide and fast spreading virus has made it impossible for these events to go on without putting the players, coaches, fans and everyone else involved in danger of catching the virus.
There has been whispers around all leagues about playing their games or even suspended or canceling them for a while now, but it didn’t start actually happening until this week.
The Ivy League was the first to make any move towards making these changes by canceling their men’s and women’s basketball tournament on Tuesday. They would then later announce on Wednesday they would be canceling all their spring sports as well.
While this was huge in the moment, shocking many people, this was only the first of the storm that was about to come.
Wednesday started with individual teams like the NBA’s Golden State Warriors and NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets announcing they would be closing their home games off to fans. This all led up to the NCAA breaking that they would be closing the men’s and women’s National Championship Tournaments off to all spectators except for family members and essential staff.
That occurred around 4 p.m. on Wednesday, but that was still only the start of all the madness yet to come.
Throughout the night, the news just kept coming in, college conferences were taking all different types of measures, and teams continued to close games off to fans. The biggest story though didn’t come until around 8:30 p.m.
Right before the start of the Utah Jazz and Oklahoma City Thunder game, the teams were pulled off the court by medical staff and the game was postponed. It wasn’t long after that the public learned this was connected to the coronavirus and this would lead to the suspension of the NBA season.
That announcement was followed by more breaking news out of the NBA, the Jazz’s Rudy Gobert had tested positive for the coronavirus. This comes after Gobert made light of the virus at a press conference on Monday by touching all the mics after being interviewed. Due to Gobert’s diagnosis, the rest of the Jazz and Thunder would be tested to see if they were infected as well.
The rest of the night was filled with reactions across the league from people like Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and Lakers forward LeBron James.
Thursday morning started with even more breaking news coming from the Jazz, because guard Donovan Mitchell also tested positive for the virus.
With the NBA making the big move the night before, the writing was on the wall for the other leagues, and the MLS was the next league to suspend their season, they would set this suspension for 30 days. The NHL followed in suit, putting their season on pause indefinitely.
The MLB, who were still in their preseason also took action, canceling the rest of spring training and postponing the start of the regular season by at least two weeks.
At that point, while basically every individual college conference was canceling their basketball tournaments, everyone was waiting for the inevitable cancellation of the NCAA Tournament. And a little over 24 hours after they made their first major announcement, the NCAA completely cancelled this year’s tournament.
This would be the last of the major sporting events cancelled for now, but it hasn’t just affected major sports. Just after all of the news from the national level sports, Rowan Athletics announced they would be canceling the rest of the athletic seasons this year.
It’s hard when something like this enters the sports world and literally makes it impossible for people to use sports as a getaway. While everyone wants something to make them forget all the heavy and hard problems in the world, for now, that outlet is not sports, because the problem has taken over sports. All we can do now is wait it out and hope that it does get better in time to have a crazy sports filled summer.
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