Issue 1: Sports games shouldn’t have spectators
October 26, 2020
If you’ve ever gone to a sports game, you know the feeling. The roar of the crowd. People walking the stands, yelling about popcorn and soda and all the other overpriced food you can buy. How the waves of tension rise and fall with each move of the team, crescendoing just as the team scores (or doesn’t). Right now, due to the coronavirus, sports are looking very different—and they should stay that way.
When the country first began shutting down in March, live sports had to completely shut down too, to the point where ESPN did a seven-hour marathon of the Scripps National Spelling Bee. When sports resumed, with athletes in bubbles and completely silent stadiums, it was weird, but it was bearable. The pandemic isn’t over, despite how much everyone wishes it to be, and the risk of spread from attending a sporting event isn’t worth a life.
To argue the other point, maybe these people have decided that they’re okay with catching COVID-19 than attend this game. There is a chain of events with that: they catch the virus, they don’t realize they catch the virus, they continue with their life, and they potentially infect someone elderly or with health conditions. A pandemic is a community problem, and so it must have a community solution. That will always require some sacrifices, and the sacrifice shouldn’t be someone’s life.
I know that masks are required. I know that there are six-feet between seats and a lower capacity. According to the CDC, neither of those are enough to eliminate the spread of the coronavirus. University of Alabama recently reopened their stadiums at 25 percent capacity. The Alabama team beat Tennessee, and as part of tradition, attendees lit up their cigars in celebration. I repeat, cigars, during a respiratory pandemic. Never mind that that means they had to have taken their masks off to smoke them. It’s more than just insensitive, its potentially lethal.
I acknowledge that spectators at a game is often more than just a matter of entertainment, that it provides money for the teams. However, there is a difference between wealthy sports teams letting spectators attend, and schools like Robinson that need it in order to fundraise.
Life has not yet returned to normal during the pandemic, and it likely won’t for years to come. Any event where people are crowded around each other for an extended period of time creates a risk for the spread of COVID-19, and sports are no exception. The more people go out and spread the virus, the longer it will take for the world to recover. Watch the game at home, and have patience.
Amelia Foster is a senior and the Print Managing Editor for RHSToday and Knight Writers. This is her fourth year on the staff, and her third as an editor....