Scoring on Corona: Why Sports must resume in America
The COVID-19 pandemic seems like an ongoing virus that, much like the 2018 Titans-Dolphins game, will continue on and on. Despite this though, we as the American people can no longer stay indoors and hide from this virus. Before making an assumption such as: “The guy writing this does not take this virus seriously, and wants to act like everything seems normal”, first examine the situation of America. Over the course of the past six months, the American people stood in limbo, fearing the virus. We can no longer fear the virus. But, we must respect it. Now entering the sports world, people continue to fear what resuming sports on all levels would bring, constantly wanting to eradicate it altogether. But, the majority of fans, athletes, parents and coaches will not stand for it.
Since the Big Ten conference’s decision to cancel the season on August 11, the football world exploded with support in resuming the 2020 season. Former Cobb County student and Harrison high school quarterback Justin Fields, projected as a top prospect in the NFL draft, led an online petition to revisit starting the season as anticipated. Backed by coaches and parents, numerous athletes in the Big Ten conference signed and supported this. You may ask, “Why do the players want to play amidst a pandemic?” Well, for starters, this 2020 season could “make or break” their future career as a Professional football player, or even a coach. Players would miss out on extra film, practice, and gameplay that you cannot replicate in practices. With proper guidelines, limited or no fans, and awareness from players, the Big Ten along with all conferences, could find a way to make this season work.
“People are at just as much if not more risk if we don’t play. Players will all be sent home to their own communities where social distancing is highly unlikely and medical care and expenses will be placed on the families if they were to contract COVID-19” Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence said.
Another huge factor in the effort to make college sports in specific happen, includes 2019 National Champion Trevor Lawrence, former quarterback for Cartersville High School and current quarterback for the Clemson Tigers. He brought up a pleura of accurate points, such as that if players begin to head back to their communities, they will less likely follow COVID prevention guidelines. College players would receive testing for COVID-19 around two times a week and will receive the utmost care. Also, if these players went back home and contracted COVID-19, the burden of medical bills would fall on their families, a percentage of whom could not afford these expenses. Now for levels like high school sports, players and coaches now have extra motivation to stay sterile and COVID free, because they know if cases get too high, their season goes down the drain. With no sports, athletes going back home may not care to follow guidelines.
“On my own cross country team, my teammates and I practice recommended guidelines. We wear masks when we aren’t running, we try to maintain social distancing as best as we can, and we use hand sanitizer after,” Cross Country runner Bentley Huff said.
Though the focus for this sports season mainly revolves around football, all sports can and should continue. Football attracts the most fans and may have the most physical contact of all sports. Overall, though the COVID-19 pandemic still lingers greatly in the United States, we cannot continue to cower in our homes and fear the virus. The focus on the health and stability of players should receive immediate attention first, not any politics, fans, or viewers. Though cases continue to rise, and a vaccine has not arisen, the athlete’s safest and healthiest state lies in schools and their respective sports.