Shut. Down. Spring. Sports.
Much like you, I too turned a blind eye last week when President Donald Trump declared the coronavirus (COVID-19) had taken over the United States.
‘Oh, this is just a media hoax that will soon pass like all the others. There is nothing to worry about’, I told my wife as I headed out the door to cover the annual Commando Classic last weekend.
Well, I am here to say that I was wrong.
The time has come for us to stop being selfish and to start being proactive. I can no longer in good faith turn a blind eye to the evidence all around me that we are in unprecedented times, and those unprecedented times call for unrivaled measures.
There is not a protective dome that is keeping the disease virus away from Sumner County. Stop playing with fire.
You are telling me that it is OK to cancel end-of-year exams, it is OK to postpone the NBA, NHL, MLB, and MLS, but it is not OK to shut down high school sports in Sumner County?
Give me a break.
I am calling for Sumner County to SHUT DOWN SPRING SPORTS.
Schools and programs all over the country are canceling their spring sports seasons in hopes of stopping the spread of the coronavirus, except for a select few, including Sumner County.
Yes, I know it was announced Sunday morning that Sumner County Schools would have an extra week of Spring Break, and during that time there are to be no extracurricular activities from March 23-27. But, it is OK to keep playing this week and weekend, and it will be OK to pick back up March 28.
What? That makes no sense at all.
For some reason, the school district’s leaders think the rules do not apply to them. At this point, it is a slap in the face to public safety to still be playing. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have urged all gatherings of more than 50 people to be canceled or postponed for the next eight weeks. That would include high school sporting events.
Listen, I love sports. I love my job, and I love covering the kids. I love finding new stories each season, but there comes a time when enough is enough, and we are well past that.
What are we trying to save here? Our pride? How about instead of trying to save our pride, we start trying to save lives.
Sure, the data shows that statistically, you, me and the kids who are playing are not at a high risk, but this is not about you, me or the athletes on the field. It is about the parents and grandparents that sit in the stands. It is about those with already-suppressed immune systems. They are the ones at a higher risk.
Coaches and school officials might say, ‘Well, there is no need for a shutdown. There is not a confirmed case in the county, so we will continue on schedule.’
That is not leadership.
Leadership means taking the preventative steps of canceling all extracurricular activities until we have a better understanding of what is truly going on.
For the seniors, I feel for you. I really, really do. I was once a high school athlete, and if someone came to me and told me my senior year was going to be taken away, I would fight it.
I pray this is just a minor speed bump in your final season of high school ball. However, more importantly, I hope your life or someone you love is not at risk just because the adult coaches wanted to get in one more game.
The CDC doesn’t make mandates just for fun. Sumner County needs to play its part in containing the virus.
I will not cover any games this week because I do not support the playing of games during a pandemic. I’m staying at home.
Stop being selfish and shut down area sports immediately.