As the Novel Coronavirus threat began to spread rapidly around the world, sports leagues began either cancelling or postponing games and even entire seasons.
Cancelled. Postponed. Suspended indefinitely. We’ve all seen these words on headlines all across the country the past few days as major events and gathering places have been closed due to the threat of the Novel Coronavirus.
Even major sporting events, from conference championships to pro sports to spring football practices, were not able to escape cancellation.
The world is currently in limbo, temporarily on hold as we wait with bated breath to see where the virus strikes next. Will baseball be able to start back up? Will the NFL draft happen on time? When will things resume a sense of normalcy? These are questions we’re all asking, as we watch in stunned silence the events that are unfolding before our eyes.
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Concerts and festivals have been cancelled before. But sports? This mass cancellation is almost unheard of. The wide range of cancelled sports means almost every American’s life, whether through participation or spectatorship, is affected in some way.
Sports has always been a constant. One of the permanent bright spots to carry us through tough times and help us temporarily forget our troubles. Whether it’s financial problems, an argument, an illness, or even the loss of a loved one, sports has always been there to offer us hope.
When you turn on the tv or step into a game, you’re instantly part of something bigger than yourself, fighting or cheering for a shared victory. A vast array of people united by their love of the game. Even in defeat, sports still offer us hope. There’s always another game, another season, another chance.
But when that constant source of hope is silenced, where do you turn? For me, I find solace in my faith and family. But there’s still hope out there apart from that. You just have to look.
There’s hope in the generosity of players and businesses making sure hourly workers still get paid. There’s hope in reporters offering to go grocery shopping for anyone nearby who feels uncomfortable going out.
There’s hope in communities coming together to support local businesses. There’s hope in moms sharing cleaning supplies with families who have children with underlying health conditions. There’s hope in countless families in Italy singing together in unison from their windows, their voices ringing through the street and overflowing with hope.
It might not be as obvious, but hope is still there, bursting through the cracks in our shattered world. The world is broken. But it’s always been broken.
Maybe we no longer have the constancy of sports, but we still have hope and we’ve been given a chance. A chance to no longer be spectators, but participants in this game of life. We’re all on the same team now. So step up to the plate. Shoot your shot. Spread hope and kindness. And let’s make sure we win.