December 18, 2021

Sport’s Tidbits: Merry Covid-19 Christmas around the Leagues

Rob Warren
Sports/Travel Blogger
Photo By:Rich Schultz

Kyrie Irving who had been absent all season, due to his unwillingness to be vaccinated and New York City’s strict laws about vaccination, is now in the process in joining the team on a part time basis. 

Omicron, Delta, and Covid are here for a while, so it’s time to make adjustments. And here we go AGAIN!

After over 18 months, of teleworking, distance learning, wearing masks, getting shots, social distancing and other health and safety measures.  Covid-19 is causing weariness.  

Folks are tired of hearing about it, some are tired of masks, and some are tired of the political implications of wearing masks or getting vaccinated.  But despite our weariness, despite the years going by, Covid-19 is going to be here for a while and this fall.

 Now, it is turning into winter and it has made it’s presence felt.

Prince George’s County schools one of the largest school districts in the nation has shut down buildings and will be sending kids home for about a month because of outbreaks due to the new Omicron strain of Covid-19. Several NFL teams have had major outbreaks with dozes of players testing positive for the virus. 

The Cleveland Browns, the LA Rams and the Washington Football team had a large part of their roster testing into the league’s Covid-19 protocols, where they were temporarily not eligible to play or practice with the team. Baker Mayfield, Taylor Heinicke, and Odell Beckham Junior were some of the high profile players that were put on their team’s Covid-19 lists.

CLEVELAND, OHIO – DECEMBER 12: Quarterback Baker Mayfield #6 of the Cleveland Browns passes while under pressure from nose tackle Justin Ellis #71 of the Baltimore Ravens during the second half at FirstEnergy Stadium on December 12, 2021 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

 There were so many players out across the league the integrity of some important games with playoff implications would be threatened. The Browns, the Rams, the Washington Football Team and the Eagles are all vying for playoff spots.

 And it would not be proper to have these games decided with former XFL quarterbacks off the street so the NFL decided to loosen their protocols for vaccinated players that did not experience symptoms.  Allowing those players to test out of the protocols and get a chance to get back into action.

In the NBA, the Chicago Bulls had 10 players in Covid-19 protocols and have just been cleared to allow those players to practice again.  Across the league over 50 players have entered the health and safety protocols, and 70 players were in the protocols in the month of December. 

Kyrie Irving who had been absent all season, due to his unwillingness to be vaccinated and New York City’s strict laws about vaccination, is now in the process in joining the team on a part time basis.  Kyrie will only be allowed to participate in games on the road, spurring the change of heart by the Brooklyn Nets.

 Where some of their players joined the Virus protocols including Kevin Durant who not only is dealing with virus issues now but being one of the higher usage players in the league.

On the ice, the NHL has had to postpone 20 games this season, and 10% of the entire league is in the virus protocol. Several Canadian provinces are now or are in talks to limit attendance at large events like NHL games to 50% of capacity.

The leagues and their players have to stay vigilant.  The public has become complacent because of how long this pandemic has gone on, but if these seasons are going to be completed, masks must be worn, players have to follow the rules, and strict testing must be in place, and schedule flexibility will be the key.  How Covid effects the sports world is a story we will continue to watch here at The Narrative Matters?

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