The fallout from the coronavirus continued Friday in the sports world. After the first domino fell with the NBA, other leagues started to follow suit. The PGA and NASCAR, the last two major sports to suspend operations, put out statements about their respective seasons and tournaments on Friday, joining all others in suspending events and shutting down.
Tough Decisions from PGA
The PGA made the tough decision to cancel the rest of the Players tournament, which had already begun Thursday, and the next four tournaments to follow through early April.
“We have pledged from the start to be responsible, thoughtful and transparent with our decision process,” the TOUR said in a statement. “We did everything possible to create a safe environment for our players in order to continue the event throughout the weekend, and we were endeavoring to give our fans a much-needed respite from the current climate. But at this point – and as the situation continues to rapidly change – the right thing to do for our players and our fans is to pause.”
Also canceled are the Valspar Championship, WGC-Dell Match Play Championship and the Valero Texas Open. The Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship, an alternate-field event held during the same week as the Match Play, was already canceled.
Here is Commissioner Jay Monohan’s full statement.
Since the Masters was not mentioned, there was some hope within the community that there was at least a chance for that to go on as scheduled. Those hopes quickly diminished when the “tradition unlike any other” was also postponed.
Many considered the Masters untouchable, so let that sink in for those who still aren’t sold on the severity of the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.
Here is Chairman Ridley’s full statement.
If there’s a bright side to today’s announcement, it’s that this isn’t a cancellation, just a postponement. Hey, us in the sports world need all the small wins we can get right now.
NASCAR Suspends Events As Well
Once the PGA and the golf world were done making their statements, NASCAR quickly followed suit. NASCAR announced earlier today that both Sunday’s race at Atlanta Motor Speedway and the March 22 race at Homestead-Miami speedway have been postponed. On top of that, Sunday’s IndyCar race in St. Petersburg, Fla., has also been postponed.
Here is the full statement by NASCAR.
MLS also suspended its season for 30 days while the U.S. Soccer Federation has canceled scheduled friendlies.
“At the appropriate time, the league and clubs will communicate plans for the continuation of the 2020 season and update the status of league events,” MLS said Thursday in a statement.
I know many out there, myself included, are disappointed and sad in some form or another due to our favorite sports being cancelled or postponed. I love sports, as do each and every one of you reading these posts. With that being said, I’m not going to give you any hot takes or angles in this post. This is a once in a lifetime kind of unique situation, so everything is out the door in regards to “playbooks” and “right and wrong.”
There are a ton of moving parts that need to be considered from, first and foremost, everyone’s health, to TV rights, regulations, fans, venues, logistics, and employees (to name a few). Rebounding from all of this is not going to be easy for the leagues or its fans, but hopefully everyone’s love of sports makes it happen. It will. Stay safe, everyone.