Facilities are shut down, athletes with limited resources are growing out of shape and professional leagues across the globe are experiencing financial setbacks. The sports world as we know it is at a complete standstill.
Local parks across this country are deserted. Basketball hoops are taped up and swing sets are covered up. The ramifications of these precautionary measures are starting to take its toll on the athletes within these communities.
Soon to be member of the SUNY New Paltz men’s basketball team this upcoming fall, Anthony Simon has been making due with what has been given to him to stay in shape. “I have no gym to go to, basketball hoops were taken down all over,” Simon said.
Division one basketball player Marcellus Earlington reiterated this tone. “I haven’t been able to hoop in forever, it all feels like some crazy dream that we’re all living in right now,” Earlington said. Earlington also expressed the difficulty of maintaining a healthy diet. “Coach normally gives us a list of what we can and can’t eat, but it’s really easy to develop bad eating habits when you’re at home 24/7.”
Athletes are being put into a position of innovation due to this nationwide lockdown. Some of the most prominent athletes in the world such as Lebron James and Tom Brady have the luxury of having home gyms to keep their bodies in tip top shape. But the ones that aren’t fortunate enough yet to be making the big bucks are struggling at this point.
St. John’s photographer for both women’s and men’s basketball teams, Nickson Descas had plans to keep expanding his portfolio for this upcoming summer. “I was planning to apply for some sports jobs, but since there’s no timetable on a return, I can’t even do that,” Descas said, “I have nothing to do… I haven’t taken a photo or recorded a video since March 11th.” Individually, every single person associated with sports feels as if a large portion of their lives have been taken from them. The hardest part is trying to find something to fill that void.
From a more broad perspective, we can take a step back and see how this unfortunate virus will plague the sports world for months to come. If things were as simple as just pausing and then everyone picking up right back where they left off, public outcry would not be as such.
There are economic setbacks and scheduling conflicts that will have to be made up for as soon as possible. For example, the National Basketball Association(NBA) will be paying the players checks to be received on May 1st in full. However, they will be withholding 25 percent of the players’ checks that are scheduled to be sent out on May 15th. Some may think, 25 percent is nothing for them. But when you get acclimated to a specific lifestyle, any change in your regularly scheduled income could prove to be a detriment.
The NBA has yet to formulate a concrete plan going forward with how they will proceed with their upcoming draft. But the consensus feeling is that this is developing into a domino effect. Once one thing will get pushed back, everything else will follow suit behind.
Internationally, the top priority is everyone’s health. That is at the forefront of every commissioner’s mind. Once we as a whole get through this horrific situation, the sports world can begin to reingratiate itself in our lives.