March 11th: The day the sports world stood still

Story by Christopher Caraballo, Staff Writer

March 11th is a day that will live in sports infamy. 

Never before in the history of sports have we seen so many sports leagues effectively shut down for the foreseeable future. 

It all started when the NCAA announced earlier this week that due to the coronavirus, all tournament games would be played without audience members and that only family members and some media personalities would be allowed to enter. 

Soon after, the Golden State Warriors of the NBA announced they would follow suit and ban fans from attending games. Basketball star LeBron James was quick to say how much he disagreed with this decision saying, “I ain’t playing if I ain’t got the fans in the crowd. That’s who I play for. I play for my teammates, and I play for the fans. That’s what it’s all about. So if I show up to an arena and there ain’t no fans in there, I ain’t playing.” 

Then, during a game versus the Utah Jazz and OKC Thunder of the NBA, the Thunder PA announcer said that the game had been “postponed.” The two teams cleared back to their respective locker rooms, where it was discovered that Jazz player Rudy Gobert, who was a first-time all-star this year and the reigning NBA Defensive Player Of The Year, had tested positive for coronavirus. 

In response to this, the NBA immediately ceased operations. The league announced that they would be “suspending” play for the next 30 days. This is the spark that ignited the fire that would be the next 48 hours. 

Soon after, the NHL announced that it too would be suspending its 2020 season due to coronavirus concerns. This had come after two teams, the Columbus Jackets and the San Jose Sharks, announced they would be playing games with no fans. 

The NCAA then announced they would be shutting down March Madness all together, rather than playing with no fans. 

The MLB, whose season doesn’t start for a while, announced they were pushing the start of their season back two weeks. Shortly after this, they announced they would be “suspending baseball operations indefinitely.” The MLS also suspended its season due to the coronavirus. PGA also canceled the remainder of its championship. Recently established football league, the XFL, also announced the suspension of its young season. 

So, if you’re keeping track at home, that’s the NBA, NHL, MLB, XFL, PGA, NCAA, and MLS all canceling play due to coronavirus.  

So far, only five known athletes have been diagnosed with COVID-19. They are as follows: 

Rudy Gobert 

Mikel Arteta

Callum Hudson-Odoi

Donovan Mitchell

Daniele Rugani

More athletes will most likely test positive within the next couple of days, as we go into a dark age of sports. Never before have we gone through a situation like this. In a world where sports are usually a way to escape the troubles of real life, real-life has now taken sports away. Let’s hope for the best, and attack this problem together.