NBA, NHL, MLB, and MLS Major leagues have decided to restrict access to locker rooms and clubhouses in order to protect players from the coronavirus. The rapid spread of the virus in the United States has prompted these measures. The leagues jointly announced the temporary ban, stating that locker rooms and clubhouses will be limited to players and essential team employees. This decision comes after consultation with health experts and aims to minimize close contact in pre- and post-game settings. The ban will take effect starting Tuesday.
The Associated Press Sports Editors expressed their disappointment with the ban, highlighting the lack of prior discussion between the leagues and writer associations. They are open to discussions with the leagues to reach a reasonable resolution.
Some NHL teams had already implemented the ban over the weekend, following the restrictions imposed by Santa Clara County in response to the coronavirus. This will impact several sports events, including San Jose Sharks hockey games, the NCAA women’s basketball tournament, and a San Jose Earthquakes soccer game.
Italy has also implemented a ban on sporting events, leading to soccer matches being played without any fans in attendance. American sports leagues are considering similar actions to prevent further spread of the virus.
LeBron James, forward for the Los Angeles Lakers, expressed his reluctance to play games without fans in attendance due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Los Angeles Lakers forward, LeBron James, stated in a post game interview, LeBron expressed that he won’t play if there are no fans in the arena due to the coronavirus outbreak. pic.twitter.com/Ee5XMQ40X6
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) March 7, 2020
As per the World Health Organization, mild cases of the disease typically recover in about two weeks. Those with more severe illness may take three-to-six weeks to recover. Globally, over 109,000 people have tested positive for the disease, with over 3,800 deaths, mainly in China. In the United States, approximately 600 people have been infected, and 26 fatalities have been reported.
Do you think these precautionary measures taken by league officials are necessary?
How will the coronavirus affect professional sports going further?
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