Professional Sports during Covid

Major professional sports leagues have been underway for a while now, all with different approaches on how to handle COVID-19. Leagues such as the NFL and MLB chose to stick to traveling and giving their athletes the ability to play at other ballparks and stadiums. On the other hand, the NBA and NHL decided to try out a new path, the bubble.

Engaging in a bubble means sacrificing a more authentic experience in order to ensure the safety of players and staff. This could result in a more stressful and independent environment for everyone. NBC Sports Pro Hockey Talk writer Sean Leahy said that over a thousand COVID tests, temperature tests, and symptom screenings will take place each day across all 24 teams. 

In a bubble environment, no fans will be allowed to attend the games. This makes for a very unusual experience for the players, who are used to the loud environment. Safety and control of the virus come first in order to keep the season running without postponements. 


However, resuming professional sports leagues in the bubble can have some downsides. New York Times writer Andrew Keh stated that cons may include difficulty in the organization, high costs, and emotional tax on the players who would be separated from family for months. 


The opposite of this would be traveling as usual and risking cases from time to time in order to allow teams to play at their home stadiums. Mike Trout, Center Fielder for the LA Angels, says, “What are you going to do with family members? It can’t be sitting in our hotel rooms, and just going from the field to the hotel room and not being able to do anything. I think that’s pretty crazy.” 


Trout makes some very good points, expressing how he needs to be able to take care of his family and live a normal life without a bubble. 


There have been some problems with containment of the virus within the baseball community, with over 20 Miami Marlins players and staff testing positive for COVID just a few days into the season.


“I think this is a wake-up call for all other teams that you better not go out at night. If you bring it in, you got a chance to knock off the season by yourself,” USA Today Columnist and sports insider Bob Nightengale said.


The bubble is an amazing idea for sports that have more contact, such as hockey and football, as well as basketball. Isolating the players and lowering the chances of exposure to the virus keeps the season going and the league thriving. Nevertheless, sports such as baseball with less contact and a larger roster should be able to travel while following safety guidelines. 

Yes, there will be cases here and there, but as long as the safety protocols are followed correctly, it should limit the overall exposure to a minimum.