COVID-19 Shakes Up the Sports World

From+latimes.com

From latimes.com

Jibril Mustafa, Staff Writer

Due to the outbreak of the coronavirus, COVID-19, the entire world has been temporarily shut down. Local businesses and schools are closed and people are being told to stay home. 

   In the sports world, many athletes and owners were testing positive for COVID-19. As a result, teams and league owners have been forced to cancel their seasons to prevent further spread of the virus.

   On the high school level, basketball tournaments and spring sports including lacrosse, softball, baseball and flag football have been closed. As of right now, even sports programs over the summer are canceled.   

   For the athletes, this hurts their recruiting process as colleges won’t be able to see them play this season. For seniors, they lose their final chance to play high school sports. Some athletes can no longer participate in state tournaments and championships. 

   One of the biggest high school basketball events, the McDonald’s All-American Game, was set to take place on April 1. It is meant to showcase the best high school basketball athletes all over the country. Due to COVID-19, the game has been canceled and all the players that were selected to play won’t get the opportunity to compete.

   In college, all basketball sports seasons and tournaments have been canceled. The National Collegiate Athletic Association, or NCAA, was forced to cancel their tournament in March. The tournament is famously named March Madness. It is one of the biggest sporting events in history. The best colleges of the country face off against each other while people make tournament brackets predicting each game’s outcome. 

   This is a major loss for the NCAA as they lose nearly a billion dollars with the cancellation of March Madness. With a great performance, the event has been known to boost any athlete’s reputation. Now, many basketball player’s dreams of making it to the NBA are hurt.

    Although spring athletes in college are also losing their season, they gain an extra year of eligibility. So while most college athletes play for four years, these spring athletes now have the chance to play for five. 

   Professionally, many professional sports have been canceled. These sports include the NBA, MLS, WNBA and the NHL. Recently, NBA commissioner Adam Silver has said the NBA season will resume as soon as they are cleared. The WNBA hopes for a new, virtual draft format. The NHL has also postponed all draft-related events. Wimbledon has been canceled for the first time since World War II. Additionally, the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo have also been canceled.

   Unlike other professional leagues, the NFL has their eyes set on keeping the draft as scheduled, in late April.

   Postponing sports on all levels hurt the athletes and was a tough decision for all coaches and owners. Athletes did lose their season, but it was meant for their safety and health.