California governor: What happens when a key player tests positive?

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There is an excitement, with the schedule release tonight, that we could see NFL football come this fall. Maybe even a full season, starting on time in September.

But California Governor Gavin Newsom threw some cold water on the idea Thursday, only hours before the league’s schedule announcement.

“On the sports question, it’s difficult to imagine a stadium that’s filled until we have immunity, until we have a vaccine,” Newsom said, via Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times. “It’s difficult for me and imagine what the league, broadly leagues, do when one or two of their key personnel or players are tested positive. Do they quarantine the rest of the team if an offensive lineman is practicing with a defensive lineman, and they are tested positive? What happens to the rest of the line? What happens for the game coming up next weekend? It’s inconceivable to me that that’s not a likely scenario, so it’s a very challenging question you’re asking.”

All it took for the NBA to suspend its season was for Utah Jazz star Rudy Gobert to test positive. So what happens if the NFL begins training camp and one player or two players or multiple players on a team test positive?

That is among the many questions every league has to answer before resuming or starting play.

So we can all continue to keep our fingers crossed that some really smart people figure out how sports can continue safely for players and coaches with games played either with or without fans.

“Look, I’ve talked a lot about my own background in baseball and why substantially I’m here because of what sports did for me, and when I say I’m passionate about sports, I really am, and how uniting sports can be at a time when people feel so torn apart and so anxious,” Newsom continued. “And I really think they’re incredibly important in terms of spirit and pride that a community, state and nation can build. So I say this very, very honestly, I hope to be able to answer that question sooner than later. But it’s a very tough question for these leagues to answer, because they must have a safety-first, health-first mindset, and there are conditions that persist in this state and this nation that make re-opening very, very challenging.”

Newsom’s answer raises another question: What happens if some states won’t allow professional sports but other states will?

For now, the NFL still has time on its side. But one day quickly is turning into another and one month into another. At some point, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell will have to answer the “challenging question” posed to Newsom on Thursday.

10 responses to “California governor: What happens when a key player tests positive?

  1. Eventually 60-80% of the population will be exposed no matter what we do. If most every player contracts the virus before the season starts they can’t spread it to others and this will not be a problem. Maybe the answer is to pre-expose the players, excluding those in a higher risk category. It would have to be done with extreme safeguards in place if it could be done at all, but it’s not an impossible solution to the problem.

  2. If a player tests positive then stay home. Test the players who were around him. What do you do when you wake up sick from the flu? Stay home right! You don’t cancel the whole season! It’s called commonsense.

  3. Then you send him home until he’s feeling better.

    This thing ain’t going away for another year at least, so we can live with it or all stay home until a vaccine is mass produced.

    Athletes are young and healthy so they can make that choice to go out and play. And those uncomfortable with exposing themselves to the virus can choose to stay home and not see anyone if they wish.

  4. Have him quarantined… deal with it. What happens when a supermarket employee tests positive? Can’t live in a bubble forever…the sooner we move on and develop immunities the better off we’ll be. Sweden had it right.

  5. It’s why the season isn’t going to happen. Hard headed people who are used to getting their way will learn though.

  6. If Newsome is waiting for a vaccine he’s going to be waiting a LONG time. He may as well have said sports can’t be played until someone buys him a unicorn. There are 7 known human Coronoaviruses and they all vary in risk factor. Some can kill more than 30% of those infected, such as MERS-CoV, and some are relatively harmless, such as the COMMON COLD. After decades of research, trial and error, there are yet to be vaccines or antiviral drugs to prevent or treat ANY human coronavirus infections. Fact. Do with it as you will.

  7. Better yet, what happens when Newsom keeps things like until a vaccine appears (without longterm human trials at that) and demands that everyone get it before stepping off his dictator podium and letting us return to life?

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