We are seeing more and more sports suspending seasons, stop playing and looking to wait out the Corona Virus outbreak. The AFL is still planning to go ahead, the NRL played on the weekend, as did the A-League, however the AFL has said it’s going to be played in empty stadiums, which I expect
the NRL and A-League to follow suit.
There are strong voices around whether we should be playing, and why suspending the season is more of an appropriate response, but isn’t now a time to have the game played? Isn’t now a good time to have a distraction from the constant talk about COVID-19?
For many, sport has always been a release, its been the one constant in people’s lives, a break from reality. We get immerse ourselves for the brief period in the play and just enjoy watching a live action event. Whilst LeBron James has stated he would never play in empty stadiums, as it’s the fans that he plays for, does he not realise that there are more fans watching than just the 30k in the stands? Whilst part of the experience of sport is being in the crowd, and that has rightfully been taken away, for many it’s just on TV that we watch, or on radio we listen, and it’s this that we need to maintain.
And whilst I understand the potential implications to players in terms of potential infection, would this not still be training and around other people anyway? If we are testing them regularly, and I would imagine they are being monitored regularly for symptoms anyway, and we take the appropriate pre-cautions, can’t we still have the sport we enjoy?
We will ask health professionals to continue to put themselves at risk by attending work, teachers, hospitality workers etc, is it that wrong to ask our sporting professionals to also attend work and perform?
Who knows, maybe I’m just being selfish as I’ve longed for the Friday night football ritual to return (and this week I get Thursday too), and I know I’m not alone. Society is going crazy enough at the moment, what with supermarkets being cleaned out, fights over toilet paper and other deemed essentials, so let’s not completely cave in and lose our outlets to suspend reality.
So please, do not take away our footy, it might be the only form of sanity we have left!