Coronavirus Upends the Sports World with Season Suspensions and Format Changes

The Coronavirus has impacted the sports world in a major way. Here’s our briefing on how the NBA, the NHL, the NCAA, and the NFL are dealing with the situation.

Fears over the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, have taken their toll on the sports world. From the NBA and NHL suspending their seasons to the impacted NFL drafts and March Madness cancellation, the virus has disrupted several leagues. Here’s everything you need to know.

The NBA Considers Games Without Audiences

In early March, the NBA considered holding games without audiences. The consideration came after news of the coronavirus spreading rapidly in the US. Similarly, the NCAA had considered hosting the March Madness tournament with no audiences. However, all that changed with the testing of Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert.

NBA Suspends the Season

On Wednesday, March 11th, the NBA decided to suspend its season until further notice when Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for the virus. Gobert’s results led to the cancellation of the Thunder – Jazz game. Prior to receiving his test results, Gobert joked around at a press conference. He thought people were being too paranoid and proceeded to touch all the press microphones before leaving. What began as a juvenile joke turned into a potentially damaging action.

The following day, fellow Jazz teammate Donovan Mitchell also tested positive for the coronavirus. Gobert has since apologized for his behavior. The rest of the Jazz are being tested for the virus. The NBA had planned to permit the final game between the New Orleans Pelicans and the Sacramento Kings, but postponed the game once they discovered one of the officials had recently worked a Utah Jazz game.