How to Play Live Sports During a Pandemic
The article “How to Play Live Sports During a Pandemic? Taiwan, South Korea offer lessons” by Grady McGregor was published May 5, 2020. This was around when we had our first shutdown and when COVID-19 really started to spread in our country. A year has almost passed since this article came out, but the pandemic still has this a sort of new feel to it. It seems like so much time has passed since our first lockdown but it also seem so far from going back to normal. One of these ‘pre-pandemic’ luxuries we used to be able to experience was attending live sporting event. The problem addressed in the article is how, due to the pandemic (and the time of this article), sporting events has had a major change in how sports are conducted, fans’ attendance, and in some cases a complete shutdown.
The article then goes to talk about other countries and how they have been able to slowly return back to live sports. At the time sports here in the states were on a complete shutdown. McGregor mentions how sports in Europe seem to slightly ahead with a return in some soccer league in a few days. Then he talks about how NBA was shutdown indefinitely and how the SBL or the Taiwan professional basketball league was able to resume play after creating a “bubble” environment. Then McGregor proceeds to talk about baseball in Taiwan and how they had to ban common practices like high-fiving and spitting and kept social distancing as much as possible to ensure safety for their league to continue. McGregor continue to talk about different sports in other countries like South Korea and China on how they have been able to resume play. But what does that mean for fans who have been eager to watch live sports. For baseball fans, you didn’t need to fly across the world to watch baseball. In fact ESPN was able to land a deal with South Korea’s baseball league for English-language rights to games and highlights. Meaning people here in the states were able to watch live baseball from South Korea.
Although, some of these plans worked in other countries there are some possible objections to the solutions. One might argue that our league such as the NBA and MLB are more expensive and finding a way to pay some players could but hard with their extremely high salaries since the teams are eliminating the revenue brought in by fans and tickets. Another objection is that sports itself isn’t a main focus right now with everything that is going on. We don’t really NEED sports one could argue.
With all that being said, the solutions presented are not far from what actually happened to bring back sports. With a year almost passing the NBA was able to resume following the “bubble” idea to finish the 2020 season and with handling COVID-19 a little better some sports have resumed with some fans. So I think the solutions presented in the article were good solutions and, as we saw, achievable.
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