Despite being a simple one-syllable word, “sports” means much more than entertaining athletic competition, especially in the United States. Over fifty billion dollars are profited from fans attending their favorite games and top professional athletes earn millions from their contracts. Top high school athletes can earn their way into elite colleges that they may not have had the slightest chance to attend without their physical abilities.
Now, with a pandemic wreaking havoc, an entire empire has crumbled. College athletics are at a standstill with struggles to even offer classes in person and baseball is just getting started in vacant, melancholy stadiums. Athletes have fallen ill in recent attempts to revive events and those who have not are nervous to play.
Big questions rise through these circumstances: should playing even be an option right now? Are there bigger fish to be fried during a time of such strong uncertainty?
To keep things plain, it would be the more logical choice to keep sports to the side and focus on the basic needs of those struggling to stay alive while they wait for the next stimulus check. The millionaire players will do just fine without the next twenty million dollar contract.
Especially during such a time of dire need, there is a sense of morbidity in being able to pay the pro-athlete and leave the desperate to hope for the best. This definitely goes beyond the sports world with our first trillionaire on the way from Amazon, but an entire novel can be written about the inequality here.
Yes, sports are what can help to raise morale, but it certainly ranks very low in priority compared to making vaccines and making sure anyone who needs medical help can get it. The safety of those living here cannot be ignored through attempts to “go back to normal” and simply move on because it has been long enough.
This is by no means an attack on sports, but it is certainly a risky activity – which is something that not everyone would like to admit. It will definitely be nice to see the gradual return of sporting events, but societal values need a bit of adjusting for the sake of America’s future, as well as the future of those living during this nightmare. Once that is managed, then true recovery can begin; sports fans just need to keep their patience.
In the words of American author Stephen Covey, “Effective leadership is putting first things first. Effective management is discipline, carrying it out.” There are many deciding where to lead us to during a period filled to the brim with unknowns, but the people need to be first.
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