Professional soccer team Tacoma Defiance, formerly the Seattle Sounders FC 2, play against San Diego Loyal inside the empty Cheney Stadium in Tacoma, Wash., on March 11. Photo courtesy of Joshua Bessex of the Associated Press.
By: Robbie Stratakos
It was Wednesday, March 11. I was watching basketball in my living room. Of course, coronavirus, the illness that had taken the globe by storm, was in the back of my head, but it never dominated my thinking. Then the sports world was delivered a stunning blow.
Scrolling through Twitter, I came across a tweet from NBA reporter Shams Charania saying that Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert had tested positive for coronavirus. A few minutes later, fellow NBA reporter Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted that the NBA suspended its season. That’s when it sunk in: coronavirus is altering every aspect of life.
Concurrently, Major League Baseball and the National Hockey League suspended their seasons, and the NCAA men’s and women’s tournaments were called off.
Think about that: leagues have been suspended and arguably the biggest sporting event in America has been cancelled. There have been rumblings for weeks about these possibilities, but it actually happened. Now what?
For those who engross themselves in the sports world on a daily basis, this is an epic occurrence that triggers perplexity, uncertainty and fear. Leagues have been suspended, players have been affected and people are freaking out.
College players may never take the court again at the NCAA level. Some will declare for the NBA Draft or simply graduate. Will they even be able to move on to the next level? What do stadium workers and media members do?
Sports are a getaway. They’re a distraction from everyday problems, but one that invokes a lot of emotion. There’s a chance NBA fans won’t get to see LeBron James battle Kawhi Leonard in the playoffs. MLB fans don’t know if or when the baseball season will begin. Will the 2020 Summer Olympics take place? An integral part of peoples’ lives has been put on hold.
This is unprecedented.
When does competition resume? A month from now? Three months? A year? No one can answer that question because there’s a new story or revelation about coronavirus every day. It’s startling, and puts the sports world in a scary wait-and-see situation.
The future is anyone’s guess.