Effects of COVID-19 on Sports
By Ryan Kelliher
The past few months have been very rare and unusual. With the surge of Covid-19 we have had to quarantine and stop doing our everyday activities. One of the most significant topics that involves Covid-19 is whether or not sports should be played right now. While some argue that we should continue to play sports because they give an opportunity to players and entertainment to a lot of people; on the other hand, some say that sports aren’t important enough to continue during the pandemic. Personally, I believe that we should continue to play sports, but it should not be mandatory.
I believe that sports shouldn’t be canceled altogether, rather, it should be up to each player to decide if they want to play. When considering high school sports, it should be up to each family. If you and your family are not worried about possibly contracting the virus, then you should be able to play sports. Conversely, if you or your family is worried about the virus then you should not be obligated to play any sports. A lot of people think of sports as something that is solely for entertainment and not very important, but when you think deeply about it, it is a huge part of our country. So many kids across the country are looking to sports as a career and a way to support their families. There are also a ton of people who work at sports facilities and stadiums. So many people have lost and will continue to lose their jobs if sports are stopped, along with all of the kids who could miss their big chance to make a career out of a sport.
As of now, most college sports are being played, but it is currently up for question. A lot of people believe that there shouldn’t be any sports played right now because it is dangerous to be in close contact with people during the pandemic. One of the best football players in the country, Trevor Lawrence, spoke out on his reasoning for playing this season, stating, “people are at just as much, if not more risk, if we don’t play.” He argues that “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. Not to mention the players coming from difficult situations that are not good for them/ their future and having to go back to that. Football is a safe haven for so many people. We are more likely to get the virus in everyday life than playing football. Having a season also incentivizes players being safe and taking all of the right precautions to try to avoid contracting Covid-19 because the season/ teammates safety is on the line.” A strong reason for letting college players play is so all of the kids don’t go home. If the kids go home instead of staying at college they will spread Covid-19 at a much higher rate. They will want to hangout with old friends and family, and if they were to stay at college they would try their hardest not to get the virus so they can continue to play. In the worst-case scenario, if a school or team has a significant amount of cases, they would just cancel or postpone the game like they have already been doing. There have been a good amount of games canceled in college football and college basketball. With some of those being close to home with the Badgers football team having 3 games cancelled this year.
While some might say that playing sports isn’t necessary right now, the consequences of completely cancelling sports are obvious: it would limit opportunities for kids and professional athletes, and might end up costing them a lot of playing time. Even though sports shouldn’t be completely cancelled, I believe participation shouldn’t be mandatory either; if athletes and their families are uncomfortable with playing sports there is no reason why they should have to play.