Writer, Stefano Schiavone
As with the rest of the world, sports has taken a pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic; however, that’s not to say that the sports world has completely stopped.
In the NBA and NHL, there are discussions to finish their 2019-2020 seasons. The former, which was the first North American league to suspend play, is discussing plans to play at DisneyWorld (though rumours of cancellation also circulate, much to the ire of LeBron James), while the latter is considering plans to play in specific cities (including possibly Vancouver).
Major League Baseball is discussing plans similar to the NHL’s after having to delay its season, while Major league Soccer has suspended play two weeks into its 25th season. The NFL, having just hosted its first-ever virtual draft, is preparing to start its season in September, while NASCAR is ready to resume with a race in North Carolina on May 17 with empty stands (after weeks of virtual races, which included Kyle Larsen being suspended for using a racial slur).
Overseas, European soccer leagues have either suspended or cancelled their seasons (though Germany’s Bundesliga announced this week that the league will restart on May 15). In South Korea, the KBO League’s baseball season has begun in stadiums filled with cardboard cutouts of fans, while in Japan the 2020 Tokyo Olympics have been postponed a year after pressure from multiple nations (including Canada) over the original instance to continue with the previously-scheduled July 24th start.
Despite the pause, the sports world continues, though in a much different fashion. The biggest source of discussion outside of the pandemic has come from Netflix and ESPN’s docuseries “The Last Dance,” which has captivated hardcore sports fans and casual viewers alike with its chronicling of the Chicago Bulls dominance throughout the ‘90s, reigniting debates over the title of the greatest basketball player of all time (it’s Michael Jordan. Anything else is wrong, sorry).
While the sports world must adapt alongside the rest of society, one thing is for certain: when sports returns, expect a global energy and excitement that will never be matched.