by Chris Camello (@Chris_Camello)
LOS ANGELES — As pro sports leagues attempt to resume in late July, one must ask will these seasons be able to finish without issues. It’s a tough question to answer because COVID-19 has proven to be extremely volatile.
The NBA is trying to resume their season in “the bubble” at Disney World Orlando, Florida while the WNBA and MLS are attempting to start their seasons at the same complex.
The leagues have worked diligently to set up daily testing and numerous health regulations to minimize infections. However, the state of Florida has seen a significant spike in positive COVID cases and that fear of contracting the virus and spreading it to others has many players opting-out of this season.
The Brooklyn Nets have been greatly impacted by positive infections. DeAndre Jordan, Taurean Prince, and Spencer Dinwiddie all tested positive forcing Brooklyn to fill those spots with free agents.
The NHL will jump into the playoffs by utilizing two “hub” cities in Edmonton and Toronto. The issue is required international travel meaning the guidelines for any player who already tested positive could be stricter before going to Canada.
The MLB will play a 60-game season with no bubble and travel to different cities and states being required as well as staying in hotels. Naturally, the risk of an outbreak will be high.
Stars such as Mike Trout and Mookie Betts have expressed concerns about playing this season. Not to mention several others have chosen not to play, prioritizing personal health over their jobs.
We have already seen many positive tests across these leagues which begs the question how many players need to test positive before a shutdown becomes necessary?
The commissioners and owners of these teams must have a plan for that “Doomsday” scenario, because the participating players are essentially risking everything. Their health and safety must be prioritized above anything else.
With this pandemic not showing signs of slowing, it wouldn’t be surprising if we see a repeat of the massive shut down. While that would be disappointing, the long term health and safety of these athletes is too much to risk.