Sports fans of every kind have had a very rough year due to the coronavirus and the restrictions placed on congregating in large crowds. The COVID-19 lockdown had frozen both professional athletes and the event organizers’ flow of income for an extended period. Quarantine has prevented younger athletes from being able to participate in the sports they love inside and outside of their schools. The lack of NBA, NHL, MLB, and MLS games was a noticeable bundle of missing TV channels on avid sports fans’ screens during the early months of self-isolation. Coronavirus has stunted a lot of young athletes’ skills from growing, halted multiple professional sport seasons from finishing, and temporarily got rid of one of the world’s favourite pastimes. COVID-19 has been the worst thing to happen to sports fans in many years.
From little league baseball as a kid to playing football in college, sports are a favourite and key part of a lot of youths’ lives. An outlet for energy, anger, frustration, and stress for children of all ages. Sports at a young age help children make and develop meaningful connections, experience loyalty from teammates, and develop teamwork skills on the field. Today’s children have been robbed of these experiences by the rules put in place by coronavirus; they instead learn to fear others for they might carry their death sentence, to run from kids their age and not with them chasing a ball, they are trapped inside their houses, and rather than understanding and controlling their emotions they are lost in them without an outlet. “Sports are more effective than verbal therapy at teaching children to regulate emotions… While verbal therapy helps children learn to control their behavior, physical activity can reduce the tendency to act out by providing an outlet for negative emotions, particularly aggression.” (Ohio University). High school students who are more athletically than academically inclined are reliant upon a sports-related scholarship to get them into college or university—this year these students will be hung out to dry due to sports teams simply not being possible currently. There is no opportunity to hone their skills in their final year of secondary school and show off for the schools paying attention to their progress and potential as a future athlete. Students who play sports are missing out on a tremendous amount of practice, emotional skills, fun experiences, and potentially the ability to pursue a post-secondary education.
Whether it is baseball, soccer, football, or basketball that takes up the screen, there are many sports fans who were frustrated by the three-month absence of pro sports on television. A pastime enjoyed by millions suddenly gone for months, causing self-isolation to be an even more disappointing experience. What could have been used as a desperate attempt at a community—collectively cheering on a team virtually—was made impossible by the teams’ absences. Watching sports has become a part of people’s lives, something you do on Sundays, something you do every Thanksgiving, and having it missing was strange and upsetting to a lot of people.
When the pandemic first became an issue to the public eye, teams got their members tested and when basketball player Rudy Gobert was diagnosed positive with COVID-19 on March 11, the NBA, NHL, and MLS all suspended their 2019-2020 season. This suspension was only supposed to last 30 days; instead, however, it lasted nearly four months, freezing the income of the companies and the athletes that work for them for much longer than originally anticipated. Rudy Gobert was blamed by sports fans all around the world for causing the suspension, he received very little support during his time ill and absent but instead hate mail for stopping the NBA. Rudy Gobert was confused as to why people were so angry with him and said, “The media portrayed it like I caused the NBA to shut down… instead of saying that it’s a pandemic and Rudy Gobert tested positive. For a lot of people who don’t think further than what’s put in their faces, they really thought I brought the coronavirus to the United States.” Rudy Gobert returned with the rest of the NBA in July and the three-month hiatus of professional sports ended.
Professional sports disappeared in 2020 for three months: sports fans missed their regular programmed TV, professional athletes had an extended break and lack of their usual payment, and it robbed kids of their childhood experiences of playing sports with friends and so much more. COVID-19 devastated sports in 2020 and as lockdown rules are alleviated and sports are returning, kids can eventually get back onto their teams and people can watch their programs again. The coronavirus caused these things to disappear and has been the worst thing to happen to sports fans in many years.
The Drive magazine in partnership with Libro Credit Union is challenging Grade 12 students to write an essay focused on their day-to-day lives. Once a school is selected, the top five articles chosen by the teacher are further reviewed by our editorial team and the winner receives a $500 RESP from Libro Credit Union, along with publication of the essay in our issue.
Congratulations to Blaine Pollett from Essex High School for being our December winner!
We are proud of all the participants and will continue to support our community through continued literacy and a path to higher education.