With the situation evolving from day to day concerning Covid-19, sports fans are inching closer and closer to the return of professional sports in North America.
In the NHL
No dates have been set in stone for when the playoffs will start in the National Hockey League (NHL), but players around the league have started hitting the ice once again to prepare for the upcoming Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Concerning the two hub-cities, where games will be played going forward this year, no organisations have been told they have been removed from contention. It is believed that the NHL is waiting on the deconfinement plan from Canadian Federal Government that would allow the three Canadian cities to have NHL games played there later this summer. The three Canadian cities are Vancouver, Edmonton and Toronto.
In the NBA
More information concerning the start date for the National Basketball Association (NBA) season has been release, with July 30th being the day some teams will return to the hardwood at the Walt Disney Word resort in Orlando.
However, the concerns about the resumption of the league isn’t stemming from health and safety but from a more political point. Some players, notably Kyrie Irving of the Brooklyn Nets, are speaking up and saying that restarting the NBA season should be put on the back burner until the situation around the systematic racism has been resolved.
“I don’t support going into Orlando. I’m not with the systematic racism and the [expletive]. Something smells a little fishy. … I’m willing to give up everything I have [for social reform]” said the Nets star on a conference call with more than 80 NBA players. There is no word on if the NBA season will be delayed further.
In the MLB
Baseball fans were glad to hear Major League Baseball (MLB) commissioner Rob Manfred say last week that he was “100% certain” that there would be a season this summer. However late Monday evening, commissioner Manfred went back on his word saying he is no longer certain there would be a baseball season in 2020. This comes as the Major League Baseball Players Association rejected another plan to return to action this summer, with the MLB not willing to pay the players their 100% pro-rated salaries.
Manfred told ESPN’s Mike Greenberg that he think there’s real risk; and as long as there’s no dialogue, that real risk is gonna continue.
“Unfortunately, over the weekend, while Tony Clark was declaring his desire to get back to work, the union’s top lawyer was out telling reporters, players and eventually getting back to owners that as soon as we issued a schedule - as they requested - they intended to file a grievance claiming they were entitled to an additional billion dollars,” Manfred said. “Obviously, that sort of bad-faith tactic makes it extremely difficult to move forward in these circumstances.”
As of now, the 2020 MLB season is still up in the air.