While the XFL may have closed its doors for the 2020 season thanks to the outbreak of COVID-19 (despite its vow to return in 2021 as planned), the ramifications of play are lingering on, for reasons that the league cannot help.
To Vince McMahon’s credit, all players who were under contract with the XFL’s teams will be paid their full-season salaries, and all players are also now free to sign with other leagues if they receive the opportunity to do so. But in the midst of a viral pandemic, there are consequences for participating in large gatherings.
It was revealed recently that one player on the Seattle Dragons had tested positively for the latest strain of the coronavirus. This is after it was reported that a vendor working in the Dragons’ stadium, a couple of weeks ago, had also tested positive.
Anybody who had any interactions with these people have been exposed to the virus and are now at risk of contracting it themselves. The XFL is offering free extended-stay housing for all who choose to self-quarantine while they wait it out to see if they begin to show symptoms of infection.
XFL statement pic.twitter.com/JaKq3iNKrr
— XFL (@xfl2020) March 15, 2020
In the NBA, Utah Jazz player Rudy Robert tested positive for COVID-19 as well, and later, one of his teammates was found to have contracted it, though, to date, I do not believe there have been reports of anybody else he has been in contact with also falling ill.
This just goes to show how it can work, however. You only need one person to be ill in order to affect dozens, hundreds of people directly, and even thousands of people, millions, indirectly, through the ripple effect of the chain of people that the people whom you come in contact with will then come in contact with themselves, and so on and so forth.
This is why the sporting world is, necessarily, taking a hiatus right now. This is why it’s so imperative, especially right at this instant, for us to take the prudent approach of social distancing. A large number of infected people will not show symptoms of the illness during the early stages, even though they are already contagious. The virus will spread through a family before anybody is even aware of it.
Imagine what it could theoretically do if introduced into a locker room, potentially filled with people who, at the end of the season, will return to their homes all across the country, even potentially take vacations overseas. Until we know the extent of what we’re dealing with, sad as it is to say, we will appropriately have to do without sports.