Following yesterday’s announcement that the NBA will suspend the rest of its 2020 season. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman released a statement earlier today, stating that the “National Hockey League will pause the 2019-20 season” starting with tonight’s scheduled game.
“In light of ongoing development resulting from the Coronavirus, and after consulting with medical experts and convening a conference call of the Board of Governors, the National Hockey League is announcing today that it will pause the 2019-20 season beginning with tonight’s game.
The NHL has been attempting to follow the mandates if health experts and local authorities, while preparing for any possible developments without taking premature or unnecessary measure/ However, following last night’s news that an NBA player has tested positive for Coronavirus – and given that our leagues share so many facilities and locker rooms and it now seems likely that some member of the NHL community would test positive at some point – it is no longer appropriate to try to continue to play games at this time.
We will continue to monitor all the appropriate medical advice, and we will encourage our players and other members of the NHL community to take all reasonable precautions – including by self-quarantine, where appropriate. Our goal is to resume play as soon as it is appropriate and prudent, so that we will be able to complete the season and award the Stanley Cup. Until then, we thank NHL fans for your patience and hope you stay healthy.”
While no NHL players have been reported to have tested positive with Coronavirus. NBA Utah Jazz player Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell have both tested positive for the virus. The announcement that the season was being suspended until further notice, sent shock waves to fans all over the world. Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban was in the crowd to watch the Mavericks take on the Denver Nuggets, Wednesday night when news broke. His reaction, caught on camera, was of shock and disbelief – as he quickly rose from his seat to talk to fellow members of the Mavericks organization. Later telling ESPN “This is crazy. This can’t be true, this seems like more out of a movie than reality.”
Following the news from both the NBA and NHL commissioners on suspending the season out of health and safety concerns. Both the MLB and MLS have also followed in taking those preventative steps, to ensure the safety of other members ( no MLB and MLS players have tested positive for Coronavirus.)
Prior to suspension – the NBA had sent out a memo to teams that due to the Coronavirus outbreak, teams should be prepared to play games without fans in attendance (if necessary). Lebron James of the Los Angeles Lakers, spoke out against such a measure. Stating that while he understands it is for the concern and safety of all, had said “I ain’t playing if that ends up being the case.”
Now with the announcement of all sporting events as well as other major events and festivals, being postponed or in some cases, cancelled altogether. James took to his Twitter account to speak about a sentiment that we are all feeling right now – the cancellation of 2020.
“Man we cancelling sporting events, school, office work, etc etc. What we really need to cancel is 2020! Damn it’s been a rough three months. God bless and stay safe.”