The Effects of the Coronavirus on Professional Sports


Mark Scott

With the rapid spread of Coronavirus, the four major professional sports have chosen to postpone/suspend their seasons.

While the NBA was wrapping up its regular seasons and preparing for playoffs, the league was struck with shocking news… The Utah Jazz’s Rudy Gobert became the first US professional sports player to test positive for the virus.

Prior to his diagnosis, during an interview Gobert was asked about the virus. Gobert didn’t seem worried in the slightest about the spread of the virus, he later began to mock the spread of the virus. As Gobert left the interview he rose from his chair, began to cough, and touched all of the microphone on the table in front of him.

Gobert’s antics didn’t end with his interview…

Adrian Wojnarowski, an ESPN NBA insider, reported in a tweet, “Jazz players privately say that Rudy Gobert had been careless in the locker room touching other players and their belongings”.

A day or so after Gobert’s test results came back, Gobert’s teammate Donovan Mitchell, also tested positive for the virus.

In response to his reckless actions, Gobert donated 500,000$ to assist those affected by the virus in the US and France. Another portion of the donation went to the arena workers who are out of their jobs due to the suspension of the league.

With the wake of NBA players contracting the virus, the NBA was the first league to suspend play. The NHL and the MLB have followed the NBA’s lead and postponed play until further notice.

Neither the NBA nor the NHL have canceled their upcoming playoffs. With that being said, the virus has not showing any signs of slowing its spread in the US, and it is likely that both leagues will cancel their approaching postseasons.

With any hope, the NBA and NHL playoffs would be rescheduled to sometime in mid-late summer… Fans could be watching a hockey playoff game in 100-degree, mid-July heat.

The MLB’s original response to the outbreak was to cancel the remainder of Spring Training on March 12th. The MLB’s opening day was scheduled to be yesterday, March 26, 2020. MLB commissioner, Rob Manfred, followed the Spring Training suspension by postponing the regular season until further notice.

While the NFL doesn’t start preseason games till the beginning of August, teams began practices and training for the upcoming season. NFL commissioner, Rodger Goodell, has advised teams to close facilities until further notice.

Though team activities and practice have canceled, NFL free agency has continued. Well-known players like Tom Brady, Todd Gurley, Stefon Diggs, Phillip Rivers, and many other players have moved to new teams.

The NFL Draft is still scheduled to take place on April 23rd, but athletes will not be physically present. Players will be shown via video broadcast during the draft.

With professional sports being canceled for the foreseeable future, arena workers are out of jobs. Many of these workers live paycheck to paycheck and will struggle to provide for their families.

In an effort to lift the economic burden being placed on these workers and their families, players and team owners have donated portions of their salaries and fortunes to the workers. These donations will pay the remaining salary of the workers for this year’s regular season.

New Orleans Pelican’s rookie Zion Williamson, Atlanta Braves’ First baseman Freddie Freeman, and Detroit Pistons’ Center Blake Griffin are just a few of the professional athletes stepping up to pay the workers’ salaries.

Along with players, team owners of the Los Angelos Lakers, Oklahoma City Thunder, Chicago Bull, and many other teams are stepping up to pay for the workers’ salaries.