Imagine a world without sports—oh wait, you don’t have to imagine, that world is here.
COVID-19 has officially shut down major league sports in the U.S. and is affecting most international sporting competitions.
Whether you are a spectator or participant, sports provide a sense of community and togetherness, for millions of Americans.
From the National Basketball Association and Major League Baseball to the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing and horse racing, governing bodies have adhered to public health orders to postpone sports competitions until it is safe to proceed.
This is a respectable decision and sets a good example for humanity during the ongoing global pandemic.
It would be wrong for sports teams to continue to play against each other for the public’s entertainment if this increases the danger to the health of the public and or players.
These decisions, however, do not come without negative consequences.
According to the International Olympic Committee, only 57% of Olympic athletes are already qualified for the Summer 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. This will require dropping the threshold of qualification standards for the remaining 43% of athletes.
With the recent mandated closure of recreational and gym facilities and ‘safer at home’ initiatives in California, individuals are losing access to organized exercise outlets.
Outdoor exercise has not been banned, so long as the Center for Disease Control’s recommended six feet of social distancing is exercised.
Going out for a bike ride, I saw people enjoying the fresh air, out on walks with their dogs, finding an escape from their state-mandated home confinement.
Without early morning weekend soccer, spring training for the MLB, or National Collegiate Athletic Association March Madness to look forward to, people, including myself, are forced to find other outlets to occupy their time.
California Lutheran University sophomore communication major with an emphasis in Sports Communication and a minor in Sports Management, Austin Gregory said the lack of new sporting events is impacting him in a variety of ways.
“The suspension of major league sports has had such a heavy effect on me. I almost feel like I don’t know how to function because I am used to having sports to watch every single minute of every day,” Gregory said. “Not having sports is just making me look at how much I miss playing and coaching water polo.”
Gregory is also involved with coaching youth basketball in Conejo Valley as well as umpiring for little league baseball. “I just feel bad for these kids who are losing a whole season,” Gregory said.
For all of those coping with their individual loss of watching sporting events and their ability to take part in sports, keep in mind that we are not the only ones affected.
There are concession vendors, sports journalists, sports broadcasters, stadium maintenance workers, those behind the scenes, and all of the related workers who help support the sporting world who are also affected both personally and financially.
Get out and go for a bike ride. Take your dog out for a walk. We are living in a world without sports, but this is only temporary and we will get back to the sporting events we enjoy watching and playing.
Do not be a couch potato all day long, no matter how enticing it may sound. For the avid sports fans out there, take this opportunity to learn about a sport you aren’t familiar with and watch previously broadcast games which may not be new, but are new to you.