The recent rise of the COVID-19 coronavirus has shown that no one is exempt from getting sick, even the likes of the athletes that devote their lives to their health. Countless major and minor league athletes, some of whom were left unnamed, have been stricken with the virus. Sports throughout the United States and throughout a majority of the rest of the world have been halted entirely.
The first NBA player to be confirmed with COVID-19, Rudy Gobert, apologized shortly after his diagnosis became public, saying he was “careless and make no excuse” on Instagram, after a video was shared around social media of him touching every microphone in front of him at an interview following a shoot around just two days before the public diagnosis. Multiple players from all around the NBA have now been diagnosed, including players such as Kevin Durant, Marcus Smart, and Donovan Mitchell, aside from the unnamed players of multiple other organizations and their affiliates.
Baseball has been struck in the minor leagues, with players from both the Yankees and Red Sox minor league organizations being diagnosed, and a manager in the minor league system of the Oakland Athletics. This strikes hard at a time when usual minor league players may be getting their chance to shine for their major league affiliate at preseason spring training.
Soccer, being at a peak time throughout the world at this time, has come to a halt in all but a handful of countries and has infected players and managers alike. Italy, currently being the country with the second highest amount of infected, and the country with the highest amount of deaths, held host to a UEFA Champions League match between Italian club Atalanta and Spanish club Valencia on February 19th with a packed crowd in Milan, reported by the British SkySports to be 44,236. Milan is not where Atalanta originates but was the place for this match to take place due to the increased stadium size. The home city of Atalanta, Bergamo, is now one of the hardest-hit cities in Italy, which has led to the mayor of Bergamo, Giorgio Gori, to say that the Atalanta versus Valencia match was a “biological bomb.”
Athletes, like everyone else, are not immune to falling ill. Sports have taken a hit, from professional athletes down to the collegiate and high school level on all corners of the planet, throwing a major curveball in the lives of athletes, managers, and sports fans everywhere at a time where it has proven that anyone can be affected by COVID-19.