The Coronavirus has affected every corner of the world, including our beloved sport leagues. Sport leagues around the world were forced to shut down in order to keep fans and players safe from this virus. However, in recent months, they have started to make a comeback. Football, soccer, baseball, and many more have finally returned despite the pandemic. Now the concerning question is “are sport associations able to keep their players safe in these times?’
Despite heavily enforced protocols, COVID outbreaks were bound to happen between teams no matter how much precaution the league enforced. A clear example is the recent Coronavirus outbreak in the NFL with the team, Tennessee Titans, having 22 players and staff testing positive for COVID-19 since September 24th. They were forced to postpone their upcoming matches and completely close all training facilities until further notice. This amount of infected individuals has caused outrage in the NFL because they believe the team had outside workout sessions or practices that strictly weren’t allowed by the league. The league has created new protocols that all 32 teams are forced to follow and are investigating whether or not the Titans violated NFL protocols.
This massive COVID outbreak has caused much concern whether or not the NFL can keep players and the community safe. It’s not only the Tennessee Titans that are obtaining positive test results for the virus, but players all around the league. Each week there are reports of star players such as Cam Newton or Stephon Gilmore that are being tested positive. This raises the question that if this continues, will the league shut down? One sophomore, Andre Casas, expresses his input on the situation, “I believe that the NFL should follow what the NBA did and keep players in a bubble. There were zero cases for COVID and it seems the most logical way to keep players and staff safe.”
Despite all of that, the NFL has no plan to put players and staff in mandatory hotels, like how the NBA did, in order to keep them isolated. The NFL is strongly positive that their protocols work when they are strictly followed.
The league is confident that it will finish this season and can keep everyone safe from the spread of Coronavirus if teams follow protocols. Nevertheless, If the NFL’s coronavirus situation gradually gets worse, there should be concern on whether or not the season should continue. One freshman, Fiorella Kaiserman, states her opinion on the league’s continuation despite the COVID outbreak, “The return of the NFL was much awaited for me and I think for everyone, but it shouldn’t have been rushed because there is still a major risk for players.” Only time will tell whether we will see the end of the NFL season this year. Football coming back was much anticipated, especially during these tough times, but keeping players safe should be their number one priority and cancelling the season should be justified if the outbreak gets worse.