Many NFL fans are continuing to cross their fingers. Whether it be with no fans, some fans, or however the NFL figures out dealing with attendance at games, those following the sport ultimately just want to see football being played.
While there may be some who feel the season should happen regardless, the majority of fans would like to see it done in a manner which is safe to all of those involved. Whether or not this can happen is something which will never really be known until it is attempted. Many have offered opinions, but they are exactly what they are labeled—opinions.
One person whose opinion has been highly regarded during the current global pandemic is Dr. Anthony Fauci. One of the most well-known doctors in the United States when it comes to COVID-19, Dr. Fauci is on the White House Coronavirus Task Force and has often been the spokesperson for the medical community when it comes to answering questions about the virus.
While Dr. Fauci‘s opinions about professional sports have been widespread over the last couple months, his remarks in a Senate committee hearing on Tuesday about the likelihood of sports returning seemed to completely contradict what has continually been reported.
“Sometimes you have to make extrapolations because you’re in a position to where you need to give at least some sort of recommendation,” Dr. Fauci stated.
In Dr. Fauci’s next statement specifically about professional sports, he seemed frustrated over how his recommendations have been spun by various news outlets. I will simply let Dr. Fauci‘s word speak for themselves. The quotes within his quote are added due to Dr. Fauci using “hand quotes” as he was speaking.
“The other thing that I’d like to clarify very briefly is that when things get into the press of what I ‘supposedly’ said, I didn’t say. I never said we can’t play a certain sport. What happens is that people in the sports industry—they could either be people from player’s associations, owners, people involved in the health of the players—asked me opinions regarding certain facts about the spread of the virus; what the dynamics are. I give it, and then it gets interpreted that I’m saying, ‘You can’t play this sport’ or ‘You can’t play that sport.’ I agree with you. I am completely unqualified to tell you whether you can play a sport or not. The only thing that I can do is, to the best of my ability, give you the facts and the evidence associated with what I know about this outbreak.”
So the person in the United States who is regarded as the leading expert on the global pandemic says he is unqualified to determine whether or not sports can be played. Of course, Dr. Fauci made the statement about giving the facts and evidence associated with what he knows about the outbreak.
Of course we understand Dr. Fauci is the leading expert on the topic. But even he is unsure if and how sports can return in the future.
The other thing which needs to be considered is how little we still continue to know about this virus, including Dr. Fauci himself. Why does it not affect children in the same way? What are the biggest factors in someone being asymptomatic? These are things which the medical community has yet to fully understand, and once they do the answers may offer solutions to the current global crisis.
I know many are growing frustrated over the current situation, myself included. More than anything, people just want answers as to how to stay safe and how they can still function in society while maintaining that safety. In doing so, we hang on every word coming from the experts. Because of this, the nations most leading expert seems to be growing frustrated on how every word he speaks is being interpreted.
So how does this affect the sports world? Do leagues cancel their seasons because it is unclear how safe things could be? Or, since it is such an unknown, should leagues such as the NFL continue their preparations in hopes the unknowns fall in their favor?
The bottom line is we are truly dealing with an unknown. Even the experts admit they are unqualified to say whether or not the NFL season can take place. But yet sports media personalities continue to offer definitive answers based on “facts” even the experts are not willing to make.
So regardless of your opinion of the NFL conducting the 2020 season in any capacity, the bottom line is everything is just an opinion. Even the country’s leading expert is merely offering an opinion based on the data he has available. The only way we will ever truly know if and how the NFL season will be held is to make the attempt as safely as possible and examine the results.