As cases of the coronavirus spike across the U.S., the pandemic is starting to make its presence felt once again in the sports industry. Florida is one of the worst-hit states in the new surge of the virus, raising concerns around the NBA’s return plan in Orlando. At the moment, the season restart is still on, but players and team executives have reportedly expressed worry. MLS and the WNBA are also set to resume their seasons in the state.
MLB has reportedly shut down spring training sites in Florida and Arizona following multiple positive cases across its teams. The shutdown will include deep cleanings of the facilities, and players will then be required to test negative before they are allowed to return.
The Coronavirus Around Sports:
– As the NWSL readies for the Challenge Cup, a player has tested positive for COVID-19. No changes are expected for the tournament, which starts Saturday in Utah.
– NFLPA medical director Dr. Thom Mayer released a statement recommending players to stop “practicing together” until the start of training camps in late July “in light of the increase in COVID-19 cases in certain states.” In just the last week, players from five different teams tested positive, including Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott.
– Four members of the New York Yankees organization tested positive in Tampa, and the team will head back to New York to resume spring training if the league and union come to an agreement.
– Eight Philadelphia Phillies players and employees tested positive at their complex in Clearwater, Florida.
– The Tampa Bay Lightning closed their practice facility after three players and several staff members tested positive.
– Twenty-one University of Clemson football players reportedly tested positive after returning to campus – two weeks after a round of tests found 23 other positive cases among football players.
– At least 30 LSU football players are currently quarantined because of the outbreak.
– Other recent positive tests in sports include PGA Tour pro Nick Watney, Toronto Maple Leafs star Auston Matthew, and tennis star Grigor Dimitrov, who recently competed in Novak Djokovic’s tournament in Serbia – an event criticized for its lack of precautions related to the coronavirus.
– As cases spread within the sports ecosystem, 30 UCLA football players demanded health protections from third-party health officials.