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Covid-19 Disrupting Major Sports Leagues and Postponing Games

With the surge of the new Covid-19 variants, major sports leagues have been disrupted such as the NBA, NFL,  and the NHL. The Covid-19 cases has sidelined dozens of players, including some of the leagues’ biggest stars. 

The new surge of cases also caused the NBA and NHL to postpone their games. The NFL has reported 88 positive cases on Tuesday, but with players coming and going on the list, about 100 is more accurate, which is the league’s worst two-day stretch during the pandemic, especially when the playoffs starts next month. 

Dr. Allen Sills, the NFL’s chief medical officer, said on Wednesday that the Omicron variant has been found among the dramatic increase in Covid-19 cases throughout the league. He also said the NFL owners are focusing on the booster shots to minimize the spread. 

Stills added that the Omicron variant is expected to become the dominant strain in the U.S. Earlier this week the Cleveland Browns announced that six players had been placed on the Covid-19 reserve list, including quarterback Baker Mayfield, safety John Johnson III and defensive tackle Malik McDowell.

However, Commissioner Roger Goodell said that there are no plans to postpone the game against the Las Vegas Raiders on Saturday. “I think the things that made us successful was keeping safety first. Second, being willing to adapt at all times. It’s clear even in the last couple of weeks that the changes are pretty significant and different than they were before, and I think it calls for modifications to our protocols in general, and we’re working with the players association on that,” Goodell said.

On the other hand, the NBA is not doing much better either. The Chicago Bulls announced that Tuesday’s game against the Detroit Pistons and Thursday’s game against the Toronto Raptors would be rescheduled, which marks the first postponements of the season. As of Wednesday afternoon, about 25 players were in the NBA’s health and safety protocols. 

The NHL has postponed the most games out of all the sports leagues after more than 140 NHL players have been on the Covid protocol list this season. 

William Parham, a professor at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles said, “If anything, coronavirus and its various strains, suggest it is an equal opportunity virus, It doesn’t discriminate. And everybody is vulnerable including the best trained and gifted athletes. … They’re not immune.”


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