Home Sports Colour Commentary: Big four North American sports league suspend play due to COVID-19

Colour Commentary: Big four North American sports league suspend play due to COVID-19

by Matthew Ohayon March 17, 2020
Colour Commentary: Big four North American sports league suspend play due to COVID-19

Last Wednesday night, Utah Jazz player Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19.

What ensued next was absolute chaos. The NBA swiftly announced that it would be suspending play after that night’s games were finished.

Around 1 p.m. on March 12, after a meeting among team owners and commissioner Gary Bettman, the NHL also suspended play until further notice. Bettman has teased a summer restart, but nothing is confirmed as of publication.

Then the news of leagues and competitions really started to pour in. Here is a summary of what happened next:

  • NCAA’s March Madness, the single biggest sports gambling event in the United States announced the cancellation of the tournament.
  • Major League Soccer suspended its season for 30 days.
  • The Association of Tennis Professionals suspended play for six weeks.
  • The Canadian Football League combine was cancelled.
  • The International Ice Hockey Federation’s under-18 world championships got cancelled.
  • Women’s World Curling Championships got cancelled.
  • Hockey Canada suspended all activities including all Canadian Hockey League games, the U-Sports National Championships and all unsanctioned minor hockey leagues.
  • The American Hockey League suspended play until further notice.

This was all on Thursday.

Since then, many major competitions would follow suit, including the English Premier League. The EPL was one of few competitions that were supposed to continue until Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta tested positive for COVID-19.

With sports being suspended/cancelled, many 24-hour sports radio and TV stations are scrambling. However, one channel that has to be given credit is TSN.

Their coverage of all things sports that day was incredible—they ran commercial-free from the time the NHL made it’s announcement around 1 p.m. until their flagship show, SportsCentre was scheduled at 6 p.m.

Thursday was a grim day, but some positive news came out of it. A team of three Canadian doctors had managed to isolate the COVID-19 virus to further research towards a vaccine.

Rick Westhead of TSN was the first reporter to interview one of the doctors on SportsCentre about the impact of what the team’s findings mean for research.

I tip my hat to TSN for continuing live coverage and reporting during a time where the world probably needs sports the most to distract them from what is going on.

At The Concordian, we are committed to you and will still be bringing you sports pieces every week.

Stay safe, stay calm, and stay clean. And for Pete’s sake, wash your hands.

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