Covid 19 and the Impact on the Sports World

By Penelope F.

Covid 19 has affected the lives of nearly everyone across the globe. So much has changed in a matter of months. And though it is certainly not among the most pressing of these issues, nonetheless an area that has been significantly impacted and touches so many, is athletics.  Virtually overnight, the sports world has come to a screeching halt, and there is still so much uncertainty and worry in the air as we move through this global pandemic.  What will the return of competitive sports look like? When will that happen? How will they keep everyone safe?  How will the players adapt to a new style of gameplay? The future for athletes and everyone in the sports industry remains unclear.

On Wednesday July 8th, Dr. Erik Jacobson (“Dr. J”) of Write On Sports conducted an interview featuring New Jersey Devils goaltender, Mackenzie Blackwood, and NHL Network broadcaster, Jamie Hersch. During the interview, they discussed the effect of the coronavirus pandemic in relation to the NHL and their own careers.

Dr. J asked Jamie Hersch what this shift has been like for her, considering she has gone from covering professional hockey games nightly, to months on end without the sport to base her career around. “It was sad, bizarre, and crazy at first- but after about a month the network switched to online shows which was definitely a tricky transition.” So even your favorite journalists have been struggling in this new age of coronavirus, but there is a bright side. She continued, “It’s also been really fun in some ways because we’ve gotten to connect to the viewers on a whole new level and certainly to the players we have on our shows because we can come together through relating and laughing about how our jobs are now being done from our couch, living room, or wherever.” Negative situations do have silver linings! Jamie also added that she has learned how much we all have in common, stopping and taking a minute to think about others (safety-wise) and priorities in life.

Mackenzie Blackwood discussed the return of NHL hockey, joking about how different it will be, most likely playing without fans in the stands the next time he gets back on the ice. “A few curse words are definitely thrown around amongst players in the heat of the competition.” This type of banter between players that is usually muffled by the noise of the crowd will now be fully audible – there’s a change we’ll all have to get used to! Mackenzie Blackwood stepped aside from the topic of his NHL career and talked about his personal life, saying he’s learned the importance of keeping in contact with others, staying calm, and staying positive.

And though they both admitted to missing hockey, Mackenzie and Jamie agreed that it’s important not to rush things. As eager as we are to return to fields, arenas, and courts- the safety of the sports community (players, coaches, fans, and staff) takes precedence over our love for the game. In time we’ll get there. Patience is key, and with everyone’s cooperation we’ll be back in no time- same with our other everyday social activities. We’re all feeling uneasy right now in these times of crisis, but it was great to hear the perspectives of these impressive hockey professionals.  It left me feeling more optimistic about the situation and even more excited for the return of professional sports, whenever that may be.

Student Bio

Penelope F.

2020 Summer Program
2022 Virtual Winter Workshop
2022 MSU Summer Camp
2023 SHU Winter Workshop

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