NBA Season Suspended As Coronavirus Rocks The Sports World Over 12-Hour Stretch
Coronavirus Infiltrates Sports Realm
Until Wednesday, the coronavirus had been more of an auxiliary concern for the world of athletics. But on Wednesday, the disease infiltrated the sports realm and has drastically changed how leagues and organizations will operate for the foreseeable future.
Among the most impactful consequences of the spread of the coronavirus is the league-wide suspension announced by the NBA after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive.
Utah Jazz Player Tests Positive
On Wednesday night, the Jazz were in Oklahoma City to take on the Thunder. As players made their final preparations for the game, a Jazz medical staffer ran onto the floor to deliver the news of Gobert’s preliminary positive.
The Jazz-Thunder game was immediately halted, and both teams were quarantined in Chesapeake Energy Arena. Minutes later, the NBA announced that it would be suspending operations following Wednesday’s games.
The NBA was already scheduled to begin playing games without fans in the arena starting Thursday, but the league felt a more robust response was necessary following the positive test of one of its players.
“The NBA is suspending game play following the conclusion of (Wednesday’s) schedule of games until further notice,” the NBA said in a statement Wednesday evening. “The NBA will use this hiatus to determine the next steps for moving forward in regard to the coronavirus pandemic.”
A call with the NBA board of governors was scheduled for Thursday, which is when the league is expected to share its plan of action with teams.
Coronavirus Impact Being Felt Beyond NBA
While the NBA’s suspension may have been the most startling news from Wednesday, the nation’s top basketball league wasn’t the only part of the sports world to be impacted by the spread of the coronavirus.
Over a 12-hour stretch starting shortly after 1 pm Eastern, all of the following occurred Wednesday:
- The Wall Street Journal said baseball is exploring alternate sites for games.
- The Columbus Blue Jackets closed home games to fans.
- Tulsa football players are quarantined.
- Golden State Warriors closed home games to fans.
- The L.A. Wildcats-Seattle Dragons XFL game was to be played without fans.
- The Ivy League canceled all spring sporting events.
- The NCAA announced its basketball tournaments will be played without fans.
- Juventus player Daniele Rugani tested positive for coronavirus.
- More collegiate leagues began limiting sporting events.
- Gobert tested positive for coronavirus; NBA suspended its regular season.
Now, with the NBA suspending play with approximately 20% of its season remaining and the NCAA deciding its basketball tournament will be played without fans, the coronavirus is truly rocking the sports world.
Coronavirus Continues to Impact Sports
After news that Rugani tested positive for the coronavirus, Juventus football club “is currently activating all the isolation procedures required by law, including those who have had contact with him,” the club said in a statement.
On Thursday, Spain’s La Liga announced its first and second divisions will be suspended for the next two match days following the spread of the outbreak to one of its clubs.
Following the news surrounding Juventus, La Liga released the following statement: “In accordance with the measures established in Royal Decree 664/1997 of May 12, [La Liga] agree to suspend at least the next two games.”
As more and more players and team personnel test positive for the coronavirus, the impact the disease is having on the sports world continues to grow.