Fall sports are skating on thin ice because of the COVID-19 panic.
There’s optimism that football will be played, but it could fall apart at any moment.
And this shocking development could torpedo the upcoming NFL season before it even starts.
Football is coming back . . . maybe.
Both college and NFL teams have been cleared to play their seasons so long as they pass certain testing guidelines.
However, the Miami Marlins’ season is in limbo after a spate of players tested posted for the virus, so football could suffer a similar fate.
And one development that the NFL didn’t see coming is players are opting out of the 2020-21 season.
As Sports with Balls previously reported, New England Patriots linebacker Dont’a Hightower and five of his teammates have decided not to play the season because of COVID-19.
But Hightower, a former Pro Bowler, isn’t the only high-profile player taking that approach.
Now Damien Williams, running back for the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs, also chose to sit out the season.
Williams cited concerns about his mother’s health, who’s battling stage four cancer.
He said, “It was hard. My mom is my rock, my everything . . . Football is my life, especially coming off a championship and wanting to do a repeat . . . But at the end of the day, this was something personal.”
Despite the concerns of the players, young and healthy people have virtually zero side effects from the virus.
The median age of people dying from COVID-19 is 81, so the illness is also almost exclusively attacking high-risk patients.
If players isolate themselves from high-risk individuals, sports should be able to carry on as planned.
There are only so many highlights and re-broadcasts that football fans can take.
Unfortunately, if the NFL does return without a hitch, it will be more “woke” than ever before.
Many players have already shared their intentions to kneel for the National Anthem and wear social justice decals on their helmet.
The NFL also announced that Lift Every Voice and Sing, the unofficial black “national anthem,” will be played week one.
If players stand for that anthem and kneel for the Star-Spangled Banner, the symbolism could do more damage to the league than COVID-19.
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