By DENNIS ERTURK, MICHAEL ACEVEDO & NOUK KEOVYPHONE
The effects of the coronavirus outbreak have left a cold, empty sports world reeling. What first started as our favorite sports being canceled or postponed has led high school and college seniors across the nation to have their careers ended abruptly and fans wondering what could have been.
If there is a consensus among American sports fans right now, it is that it has been days and counting without seeing their favorite athletes compete at the highest level.
Soccer lover and third-year economics student Ivan Torres is one of the many students who feels deep dismay when it comes to discussing sports.
“The effect of the coronavirus on soccer fans is tragic to the fan that regularly attends home games, as well as the fans that play soccer in their own time as a form of physical health and stress relief,” Torres said.
Major League Soccer announced on March 12 that it would postpone its season at least 30 days, while the men and women’s U.S. soccer teams canceled their upcoming friendlies.
The rest of the soccer world is hurting just as badly, if not worse. The Union of European Football Association’s (UEFA) Euro 2020, a tournament of Europe’s best national teams, is postponed until next year, while each of Europe’s top five soccer leagues has been postponed. The UEFA Champions League, the world’s premier soccer tournament composed of the best club teams in Europe, may not even be played out.
On March 12, the National Basketball Association (NBA) announced the 2019-20 season was suspended until further notice due to the coronavirus outbreak. One day prior, the NBA canceled all of the regularly scheduled games as the news broke that a player had tested positive for the virus.
Just a couple of weeks later, numerous other NBA players tested positive for the virus, including former MVP Kevin Durant of the Brooklyn Nets. Two LA Lakers have since tested positive.
The coronavirus has not only taken its toll on athletes, but on fans as well.
“Seeing that sports were canceled was really sad news to me, as I watch basketball almost every day,” third-year mechanical engineering student Peter McLean said. “But I understand it was done for the right reasons and am looking forward to the season starting back up again.”
Although these are tough times for all sports fans, it is important to remember that with the pause of the NBA season, many individuals employed by the association and other leagues will be out of work for the foreseeable future.
NBA players including All-Star Giannas Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks donated a significant amount of money to help pay for worker’s wages during these troubling times.
The Los Angeles Lakers, Clippers, Kings and Staples Center have come together and created a fund to assist their staff members.
Staples Center sent out a message to all its employees informing them of the fund and its commitment to assist in paying for lost shifts through the end of the regular NBA and National Hockey League seasons.
The Anaheim Ducks owners sent out a memo to employees last week.
“All part-time employees have been sent home and our shifts canceled obviously since they announced the season was suspended,” retail and merchandise associate John Demman said. “The Ducks owners sent out a memo last week saying that they would compensate all part-time employees through the end of March, meaning I would receive paychecks and benefits for all my scheduled shifts in March even if I didn’t get to work those days.”
In the meantime, fans, athletes and employees will have to wait for further instruction in regard to the necessary steps to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
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