Sports are planning a comeback sooner than you may think.
The four major leagues – NBA, NFL, MLB and NHL – are all plotting their next course amid the global pandemic and some of them feel confident in resuming duties in May, although it hasn’t been set in stone yet.
But Nascar just got some great news from North Carolinian officials in a key step to reopening America.
March 11th 2020 will forever be remembered as the day when the nation resorted to closing businesses down amid the global outbreak of the Chinese coronavirus.
In the mid afternoon eastern standard time, the world learned that Tom Hanks and his wife of over 30 years contracted the Chinese coronavirus while shooting a movie on location in Australia.
Within minutes of learning the world’s biggest movie star’s revelation, the NBA announced that star center of the Utah Jazz, Rudy Gobert, tested positive for Covid-19 – resulting in commissioner Adam Silver’s indefinite cancelation of the season.
Within 24 hours, other sports leagues like the MLB and NHL followed the NBA’s lead and also canceled games.
We have officially been without sports for over six weeks now and with stay-at-home orders and with the implementation of social distancing, it might take a little while before the industry returns to some semblance of normalcy.
But Nascar just got some great news from Governor Roy Cooper who has a plan to gradually reopen the state in three phases. In fact, Gov. Cooper is still optimistic that they’ll hold the state’s Coca-Cola 600 on May 24th on Memorial Day weekend.
Before they set a hard date on a return, Gov. Cooper said last Thursday that Nascar teams can work in their race shops if they maintain the social distancing guidelines, which is one of the first hurdles to reopen America.
Gov. Cooper said, “From the information that I have now, already under our state executive order, they could begin working in their garages as an essential business defined under our executive order. They are still in contact with local health departments that local governments may have some different health restrictions.”
This comes off the heels with the governors of both Florida and Texas who have both welcomed the idea of resuming races without fans – much like all of the other leagues are pondering right now too.
Gov. Cooper mentioned North Carolina as the state where Nascar was founded.
He added, “We are the home of NASCAR, and I’m so grateful for this amazing sport that is in our state that not only provides people with a lot of entertainment, but also has an amazing economic engine for our state. I’ve been in contact with NASCAR officials, track owners, team owners. They have come forward with a plan to try and protect their employees. So we’ll be coming forward with an announcement on that pretty soon.”
Nascar just held the Daytona 500 in February before Americans were forced to stay at home.
President Trump attended the race and he even brought the presidential limousine nicknamed “The Beast” to be the guiding car for the opening lap.
Clint Bowyer wrote candidly on Twitter, “Not going to lie, I had no idea what to expect. The man walked in shook all our hands, took selfies, and whatever we asked of him. I judge people on how they treat me and others I’m with, and that’s why I really appreciated meeting @POTUS.”
Kurt Busch wrote, “Plain and simple, @realDonaldTrump is a man of the people.”
Nascar is the one sport that we should welcome back with open arms more than the others because it’s not filled with prima donna narcissistic athletes like the other leagues who use their fame to influence politics. Nevertheless, Gov. Cooper’s decision to let teams resume duties is a huge step forward in reopening America.