Written By: Carlos Daniel Martinez
Following the NBA’s decision to suspend its games for a period of thirty days on Mar. 11, sports leagues around the world have followed in their steps. The MLS has suspended their scheduled games for a period of thirty days, while the NHL is taking a hiatus, but still monitoring the current situation for when games can resume.
Meanwhile, the MLB has cancelled all spring training games and will delay its opening day by two weeks, pushing the start of the 2020 baseball season to Apr. 9. While the NFL has no plans so far to delay its 2020 season, teams in the league are taking matters into their own hands to make sure everyone in their organizations is safe. The XFL, in its inaugural season, will not be playing any regular season games, but remains optimistic to provide entertainment for its completely new fan base for next year. College basketball, right now in the middle of its NCAA March Madness schedule, has also announced all games are cancelled, and that there will not be a champion this year in either the men’s and women’s divisions.
What brought NBA’s commissioner Adam Silver to take executive action was the confirmed test of Utah Jazz player Rudy Gobert. 24 hours after Gobert tested positive for the coronavirus, his teammate Donovan Mitchell also tested positive. In a personal letter he penned to NBA fans, Silver went on to say that, “this remains a complicated and rapidly evolving situation that reminds us that we are all part of a broader society with a responsibility to look out for one another.”
Considering the fact that Mitchell contracted the virus because of the lack of self-awareness Gobert showed during a press conference, where he touched microphones around him, Silver’s words echoed in the minds of many people who’ve been observing the trajectory of this virus.
In the end, this virus is bigger than sports. True, to the die-hard sports fan, these are the worst days of their life. However, to ensure the safety of players’ health, it would be irresponsible to let fans from outside to enter tight arenas and stadiums, knowing the potential risk they can have on others in large public gatherings.
The New York Knicks won’t be in contention for a spot in the NBA playoffs this year, game suspensions or not. On the other hand, before the NHL’s decision to halt all games nationwide, the New York Rangers and Islanders were only a few games behind from clinching any playoff spot. To see these red-hot teams stomp on the brakes in their wave of momentum, it leaves hockey fans wondering if they can continue their pursuit to the Stanley Cup playoffs once the suspension ends. And if the situation does worsen across this country, would the Rangers and Islanders’ last game be their actual last for this year? As depressing as that may sound to some, hockey fans should be supportive of the lengths their respective teams reached this season. If the season should happen to continue after this hiatus, then expect the unexpected with all teams in the league fully rested by then. The same goes for all NBA and MLS teams, who will go out and play hard for the love of the fans, and the love of the game.