Covid-19 Madness: The Collapse of Sports Leagues

The cancellation of sports leagues has created a dilemma that affects all stakeholders involved in all major sports. Cancelling leagues hurts advertisers, players, team owners, ticket holders, and more; However, restarting the leagues could inflict more damage in the long run. The big question of whether to cut losses or attempt a covid-19 free comeback looms in the minds of both players and sports team owners. The result of all the chaos caused by covid-19 cases in sports leagues has currently left a patchwork of different sports that will continue to operate under special conditions. Unfortunately, the current patchwork of leagues can only get worse over time.

Reopening sports with heavily physical contact or inherent possible covid-19 spreading interactions will never be safe. League owners and commissioners will always talk down the possibility of spreading covid if they want the league to reopen for public relation reasons; However, any sport with people in physical contact and or close will inevitably spread covid-19 despite the many assurances the public has received about procedures. The inevitable spread of covid-19 means that the attempts to restart leagues during a pandemic will eventually have to deal with the reality of an outbreak at some point. The sad part about this situation is that the players could face the worse fate in the case of outbreaks.

Opening the sports season during the covid-19 pandemic would be a large victory for sports corporations, but also a tragedy for the players. Advertisers and broadcasters would make billions in profits due to the millions of bored consumers and the players participating in sports leagues would become covid patients. One infected player or staff not following protocol could start a chain reaction that would hospitalize multitudes of people and start a wave of cancellations that try to perform damage control. The problem with post-outbreak damage control is that dead or hospitalized key players and staff cannot be easily replaced which will just create more chaos. The resulting situation would mean that the players or staff that were medically affected did all this work just for their season to be cancelled due to health reasons anyway.

The fate of cancellation faced by many currently operating sports leagues leaves players in a precarious situation with no good outcome. Players can outright skip the season for health reasons and be forced to sit out for months. Alternatively, players can attempt to safely play the season and eventually get covid-19 or be forced to stop playing due to an outbreak. This catch-22 has left many players in a limbo where they are not sure what will even happen. The desire to play is warranted by players, but more unnecessary and public deaths are not what the world needs right now.


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