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The New York Times published an article on Thursday that begs professional sports leagues to shut down for, at least, the next two months.
“It’s time to press pause on games, matches and meets. If we’re genuinely interested in public health, genuinely invested in slowing the virus and saving lives, we need to look at the storm that has gathered and take shelter from it. … Come back in February, or later.”
If the Times gets its way, the NFL season will hit pause and resume play in the spring. An April Super Bowl, perhaps. Moreover, Aaron Rodgers would have to sit out in this scenario. The Times says the NFL, NBA, and NHL must not only shut down instantly but also mandate vaccination for every player.
Here are the Times’ solutions:
“It’s time for sports leagues to mandate vaccination for every player. No shot, no games or practices or hanging at team headquarters.”
“Time that all teams require proof of vaccination from fans and, yes, the wearing of masks. When we see 100,000 fans packed shoulder-to-shoulder at the biggest stadiums, a sea of unmasked multitudes, everyone screaming at the top of their lungs, what message does that send?”
“Time to get back to the rigor of daily testing.”
While true that current COVID policies are hurting pro sports, particularly this week, the Times‘ proposals are not the answer.
Mandating vaccination for every player and requiring daily testing would not increase the number of players eligible to play in the NBA, NFL, and NHL. The COVID vaccine is less of a vaccine than it is a therapeutic, meaning it mostly prevents severe cases and hospitalization. Example: the long list of vaccinated NFL and NBA players who tested positive this week.
So even if all players were vaccinated, daily testing (for which the Times hopes) would still find many of them positive, thus disqualified from eligibility.
Vaccines do not end COVID, despite what the media told us. Notably, 95% of NFL players are vaccinated and the league reported that 62 players tested positive on Monday and Tuesday, more than any two-day stretch last season without the vaccine. Meanwhile, the NBA is 97% vaccinated, yet cases across the league are spiking drastically.
The NFL is 95% vaccinated, the NBA is 97% vaccinated, the NHL is nearly 100% vaccinated. All three leagues are still overwhelmed with covid cases & hitting new covid case highs. So how is @JoeBiden arguing vaccines will end covid? The pro sports leagues prove that’s 100% a lie.
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) December 17, 2021
Further, the lack of testing in sports is not the central problem. COVID is not going away. Therefore, pro sports leagues either have to settle for players routinely missing pivotal games or start treating COVID like the flu, a scenario in which players with mild or no symptoms could still play.
There’s no evidence that vaccinated players are transmitting the virus on the field. So why won’t the NFL allow asymptomatic players to participate? Well, no one has ever explained why.
As for the delay proposal, the NFL will not consider it. The Super Bowl will be held in February — unfortunately in Los Angeles — as planned. On the other hand, the NBA, the progressive league, would be more likely to consider pausing its season and mandating vaccines for all.
“We’re at war with the virus, and the sports world is among the most powerful social forces in the world,” the Times concludes.
And that’s how you guys suggest we finish the battle, huh?