Tuesday, October 27, 2020

The various contributions of Professional Athletes during the Coronavirus era.

April 5, 2020 by  
Filed under Health, News, Opinion, Sports, Weekly Columns

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(ThyBlackMan.com) One of the phrases that has been utilized the most over the past month is “social distancing.” Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, people from across the globe are advised to commit to social distancing themselves away from other people in an effort to limit and slow down the persistence of the spread of the coronavirus. As a society we are learning more and more about this deadly virus and how it can be passed from one human being to another. It has shut down various industries globally and domestically including professional sports as the NBA and NHL seasons had to suspend play last month. There is no definitive point for the return of the 2019-2020 seasons for those two sports leagues and professional athletes everywhere have had to bide their time in various ways as much of the country is under quarantine.

On March 11, 2020, the National Basketball Association could be viewed as a catalyst of the seriousness of the coronavirus when Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert was placed on the injury list due to illness. He was taken to a local hospital and tested positive for COVID-19. The NBA game between the Jazz and the Oklahoma City Thunder was then postponed that night and the NBA decided to suspend the 2019-2020 season indefinitely shortly after that. Since then, a couple of NBA superstars have tried to contribute towards the understanding and fight against the coronavirus pandemic. Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry held an Instagram Q&A on last month with medical expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci. Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid and 76ers ownership are establishing a funding campaign to help with the distibution of COVID-19 testing to Philadelphia doctors and nurses.

There were other notable NBA players besides Gobert who contracted the coronavirus including Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant and Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart. Smart and at least three other NBA players who contracted and later recovered from the virus will reportedly “plan to donate their blood for an experimental treatment that could ultimately help high-risk patients to overcome the virus, according to Dr. Michael Joyner, a member of the leadership team of the National COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Project.” Unfortunately, the NBA will be financially hurt like several other American industries by the pandemic and might find themselves at odds between players and owners regarding possible pay cuts.

The world’s most popular sport remains soccer and one of soccer’s most well-known stars, Lionel Messi, looks like he will take a paycut from FC Barcelona of around 70 percent because of the coronavirus pandemic. Messi and other Barcelona players will make financial contributions so that none of the non-sporting staff’s earnings will be reduced during Spain’s state of emergency, which has been in place in the country since March 12. This is in a similar vein as the NBA’s Kevin Love and other NBA players contributing to hourly workers hurt financially by the NBA season being suspended.

There are other athletes making important contributions in this COVID-19 fight as well. Houston Texans tackle Laremy Tunsil of the NFL is making two big contributions by committing up to $250K towards Covid-19 relief and helping people who have lost sources of income because of the pandemic. According to Tunsil, people can email laremycares@gmail.com and ask for funds for necessities. Tunsil listed electricity, water, car and rent bills as examples. Like many humans, professional athletes are combating the coronavirus pandemic by helping and working together to assist others.

Staff Writer; Mark Hines

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