By far the most important and most significant and most catastrophic toll that the COVID-19 pandemic is taking around the world is, has always been, and will always be, the lives lost. Please don’t allow anybody to tell you otherwise, or at least, don’t listen to them, because there are plenty of people who are disputing just that.
That’s not to say that the profound impact on businesses, particularly small businesses, and the loss of employment, insurance, and security for their workers is to be taken lightly, by any means. A number of companies and organizations have stepped up to the plate to help support their employees during this downtime, which is good to see.
Fortunately, the NFL is among them, and they should be, given the revenue that they bring in annually. Frankly, there would be no valid excuse not for them to do it. But they are, and that’s a good thing. As of late last week, the NFL community has already given in excess of $35 million to a variety individuals and outlets, including those efforts working to support the rank and file employees of NFL teams.
Additionally, the league is looking into ways to incorporate fundraising efforts into their broadcast of the 2020 NFL Draft, which is scheduled to be held on April 23-25. Given that they will be the only sports-related event going on, the ratings are expected to be particularly strong, and hopefully the charitable spirit will be felt and taken advantage of during that time.
“We have all been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Now more than ever, we need to unify to stay home and stay strong”, commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. “The NFL will continue to find ways to give our support so we can get through this time of uncertainty together”.
Outside of the draft, which will take shape in a way much different from what we have come to expect due to the circumstances, the NFL’s offseason is on pause. Team facilities are shut down, and right now there are no signs that any offseason activities in-person will be able to take place.
Contracts have been signed, trades have been made, teams are even interviewing draft prospects over the interwebs. The NFL is trying to keep business ‘as usual’ as business can possibly be right now, but there’s no question that the 2020 season will be marked in some way by this.
It would be too callous to write something like, ‘hopefully by September we’ll all have realized that we were overly worried about what might happen’. What we have already gone through is highly significant, and things will continue to be getting worse for weeks yet, at a minimum.
With that said, let’s all continue to hope that things begin to take a turn in the positive direction, and that we can all regain some semblance of normalcy come the Fall by tuning in to watch our favorite sports teams.