Shooting for hope

How the world of sports has been impacted due to COVID-19

More stories from Ethan Szymanoski

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The sports world came to a screeching halt on March 11 as the National Basketball Association postponed all games until further notice.

Following suit was the NHL, MLB, NCAA, and every other major professional sport exempting the NFL due to the start date being in September.

March Madness was just around the corner and was not only postponed, but canceled.

Restaurants, malls, movie theaters, casinos, and other establishments have faced restrictions and shutdowns and social distancing is in full swing to help curb the spread of COVID-19.

President Tim Cost of Jacksonville University has taken the necessary measures moving forward in regard to the virus.

“It really comes in layers to keep everybody’s health and well-being safe moving forward,” said Cost. “The magnitude and timing of the outbreak is unfortunate.”

All of the professional sports world leaders came together and realized the decisions that needed to be made moving forward to protect athletes. However, not everything worked out as planned.

All-star and 2-time Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert, center for the Utah Jazz, was patient zero amid the NBA which was the first sport to have a confirmed case. This led to the ultimate postponement of sports worldwide.

Jazz All-star teammate Donovan Mitchell contracted the virus from Gobert, followed by point guard Emmanuel Mudiay.

Detroit Pistons rookie Christian Wood, who recently played against Gobert 4 days prior to the positive test, has also contracted the virus.

The cancellation of the March Madness tournament was driven by the positive test of Gobert, leading to a domino effect across sports.

At JU, seniors who participate in spring sports will be granted an extra year of eligibility moving forward with their collegiate careers.

Jacksonville University Athletic Director Alex Ricker-Gilbert has had his hands full when it comes to handling the recent events.

“It has been unprecedented and uncharted having to share with these student athletes that their season is over,” said Ricker-Gilbert. “However, it is understood and expected due to these circumstances handling COVID-19.”

Ricker-Gilbert also mentioned the unbreakable relationships that the athletes have built.

“Right now, it is a really powerful time to strategize and build moving forward,” said Ricker-Gilbert.

With the sports world in limbo for now, it appears as though other aspects surrounding it have also been impacted. The companies who are branded with each team has lost money in advertising and in general.

Nike and Adidas are both plummeting in the markets and stores have lost sales, with no telling what the future will hold.

“Good news they know how to trade on, bad news they know how to trade on, but they don’t know how to trade on uncertainty,” said Cost.

Moving forward it is important for people worldwide to be mindful of their actions and be careful with interacting with people in the surrounding area.

No one knows when the sports world will be back at its full strength, but it will hopefully be soon.