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Sports over Safety: Coronavirus in the US

As sports begin to restart, players are testing positive and new cases in the United States have grown to record numbers.

Knicks by Miguel Mendez is licensed under CC 2.0

Sports over Safety: Coronavirus in the US


Estimated Reading Time: 4 Minutes

It’s a weird world. The United States in particular is the equivalent of a kindergarten class. Some are attentive and excited for the activity, while some are wreaking havoc, and others are playing with the kitchenette blissfully disengaging themselves from what’s happening around them. We’re nearing the end of June. Many European countries are enacting plans to reopen, and are seeing cases of coronavirus dwindle.

Meanwhile, in the US, we have a buffoon incapable of telling the truth slowing down testing while we spike to the largest single day counts of new cases recorded to date.

And here I am, still unable to comprehend why sports are part of the conversation.

How are those restarts doing?

The NHL is has narrowed their hub search down to a handful of cities, yet members of the Tampa Bay Lightning tested positive for COVID-19.

NBA players are debating on whether or not to go to Orlando, and teams need to submit their official rosters for the tournament by July 1st. There have been 11 positive cases across five teams in the past few days as the first round of testing ahead of their descent upon Disney begins. Did you know Disney was going to be into their re-opening plan during this? WILD, right? Though that’s not happening anymore, for reasons I’ll get to shortly (coronavirus spikes…).

The Orlando Pride will no longer be participating in the NWSL Challenge Cup. The team saw 10 positive cases across players and staff after some younger members of the team decided going to the club was more important than following social distancing guidelines. This has forced some big names out of the tournament. Who is on that roster, you ask? Alex Morgan, Sydney Leroux, Ashlyn Harris, and Ali Krieger of the USWNT and Marta of Brazil. Oh, and Megan Rapinoe, Carli Lloyd, Mal Pugh, Christen Press, and Tobin Heath will be sitting out as well.

MLB has finally “agreed” to a 60 game season…

…but players are testing positive left and right. Members of the Phillies, Blue Jays, and Rockies seem to be the latest. The Giants had to shut down their facilities entirely. I still don’t believe that the season is going to happen. And, if I’m honest, my love of baseball is crashing and burning. I’m so disappointed in MLB owners, the MLBPA, and Rob Manfred that I’m pretty sure if the season does miraculously happen, I won’t watch a game. It lost its luster.

But, regardless of my feelings on the sports themselves, at this point isn’t it irresponsible?

You know, the more I think about it, the more I’m flying into a rage. The Governors of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut have all put in place a 14-day mandated quarantine for anyone entering their states from another state with high coronavirus rates.

This feels crazy coming from New York, which was the epicenter of the pandemic not too long ago. Some of the most strict guidelines in the country were put on New York, and the state has gone from first to one of the worst (or, in this case, one of the best).

Anyway, as of now, that mandate applies to Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Utah and Texas.

Hey, guess where most of these sports are currently training or about to descend upon for a tournament!

Arizona, Florida, and Utah.

Guess who that coronavirus quarantine mandate doesn’t apply to in NY?

Garbage. This is so ass-backwards I don’t know how to not scream into the abyss.

Then there’s the NFL…

I’m exhausted with the NFL. My love for that game has been dwindling for a long time. Their owners are meeting this week to talk about the future of this season. Teams have been advised to not hold workouts, and players have been advised to not workout with their teammates.

Meanwhile Tom Brady, Gronk, and the Buccaneers are ignoring that advisory while working out in the state with some of the highest growing case numbers. And superstars like Ezekiel Elliot and Von Miller tested positive.

And if you’re about to ask “kEvIn BuT eUrOpEaN sOcCeR kIcKeD oFf, WhY sHoUlDn’T wE hAvE bAsEbAlL?”… I don’t necessarily agree with them restarting either, but there’s a major difference.

THOSE COUNTRIES TOOK THIS SHIT SERIOUSLY.

They put together strict measures, even as their population was getting hit hard. Germany had a pretty tight grip the whole time. Spain and Italy got ravaged, but were able to tighten things up. And those countries are still under lockdown. Italy restarting feels like a farce, but they’ve still done a better job than us.

Us. US. USA. The United States of you can’t tell me what to do. Of I can go to a massive pool party in the Ozarks and not socially distance and scoff at the fact that people at that same party tested positive for coronavirus.

Is there a point that we take the coronavirus seriously? Or are we so fragile that we need to put athletes on TV to keep us entertained, blissfully disengaging from the conversation and the chaos around us?

Kevin is an actor, director, playwright, and musician who works in tech and lives in Brooklyn. He is die hard New England sports and an avid Tottenham supporter. His qualifications include scoring 1 point in his elementary school basketball career, 4 years of mixed little league results, and breaking his arm with a skip-it days before pre-season workouts started for Freshman football.

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