Professional Sports and COVID Are Not Playing Nice Together

AP Photo/Steven Senne, File

Here at the sports desk located somewhere beneath the decks of the Good Pirate Ship RedState, we occasionally succumb to nostalgia for days gone by. For example, remember the long-ago story of how everyone and their grandmother were castigating Aaron Rodgers for getting COVID after trusting homeopathic resistance treatments? Now, we can’t see the top of our desk due to news items regarding the multiple COVID cases breaking out across all three of the four major sports currently in season. A brief review:

  • The Calgary Flames have had four games postponed due to multiple players and coaches testing positive.
  • The NBA is contemplating returning to daily testing as it deals with a slew of new cases sidelining players and coaches. The Chicago Bulls have had two games postponed.

What is missing from these stories is the hue and cry over vaccination status. In the NHL, every player except one is vaccinated. The NFL boasts a near 95% vaccination rate among players and close to 100% among team personnel. The NBA has a near 97% vaccination rate. All of this amply demonstrates that the vaccines are 100% safe and efficient, except when they’re not.

Making the matter even more curious is how players and team personnel are often testing positive for COVID yet remain asymptomatic. The natural immunity from such will doubtless do far more to eventually stem the tide than treating everyone whose nose swab goes south like Typhoid Mary, but what do we know?

The whole matter points out an inconvenient truth regarding COVID. The vaccines aren’t doing a very good job. Bullwinkle does a better job pulling a rabbit out of a hat. Insisting that all it’ll take is another booster shot, followed by yet another booster shot and then another, isn’t trusting the science. It’s insanity’s definition personified.

Also, the available COVID tests aren’t much better than the vaccines. Case in point: LeBron James recently missed a game due to testing positive … even though he immediately tested negative. This has nothing to do with James directly, but it serves as an example of yet another inconvenient truth. Given the ever-increasing inroads sports betting is making into the major sports, introducing another possible route for game outcomes to be influenced via manipulated COVID test results should give people cause for pause. “Hey, we’re sorry, quarterback of a team playing in the Super Bowl tomorrow — you can’t be there.” Twenty-four hours later: “Oh, wait, false positive not ‘discovered’ until after the game? Oopsies.”

The COVID outbreak in sports should spark critical thinking regarding how and why the current approach to confronting the virus isn’t getting the job done. However, we at the sports desk located somewhere below the decks of the Good Pirate Ship RedState have complete confidence that it won’t. Even as we were told in the early 1970s that love means never having to say you’re sorry, so does being a public official reacting to a health issue.