In a world completely absent of competitive sports for the past few months, COVID-Shaming has become the latest craze to fill the void.
Memorial Day was unfortunately used by some as a platform to compare the heroic sacrifices made by our war veterans to today’s athletes too weak to make their own sacrifice “to help the country.”
Not many people would walk away from a three-year, $3.6-million contract...to help the country. Hell, we have professional athletes today who are hesitant to play in an empty stadium to help the country. https://t.co/2RIQzrT6JZ— LZ Granderson (@LZGranderson) May 25, 2020
LZ, kindly get tf off our Tempe lawn. Don’t ever, ever, ever compare, however loosely, Pat Tillman’s sacrifice to the players’ hesitance on joining a completely frivolous cash-grab by NBA owners amid an unchecked worldwide pandemic.
But LZ isn’t alone. The head of the NBA Players Association (NBPA), Michelle Roberts, has even joined the fray to say she would make the call herself and wouldn’t even need a players vote to decide that the NBA season must go on.
“It’s time. It’s time,” Roberts told ESPN. “It’s been two and a half months of, ‘What if?’ My players need some level of certainty. I think everybody does.”
I’m sure the players are antsy to get going again. Phoenix Suns forward Frank Kaminsky is so excited he’d forgo the next couple decades of his life to space-travel to Saturn if that meant he could play another NBA game when he lands.
So are their sexagenarian and septuagenarian coaches, including Alvin Gentry (65), Mike D’Antoni (69) and Gregg Popovich (71), despite all the evidence that the hardest-hit from the COVID-19 virus are older individuals and those with underlying health conditions that often come part and parcel with the rigors of NBA coaching.
Gentry (65) is one of three active NBA coaches in that club alongside San Antonio's Gregg Popovich (71) and Houston's Mike D'Antoni (69)— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) May 18, 2020
"I'm going to approach it with caution," Gentry said, "but I will be immersed in it totally from a competitive standpoint and everything else"
But this isn’t just the common cold or strong flu. You can’t simply wish it away by saying “it’s time” or “I’m bored now.”
The presence of this COVID-19 virus has increased the U.S.’s daily death tolls by 15-20% over a typically reliable mortality trend of 7,500 deaths per day in warm months.
This pandemic is increasing daily deaths in this country by 1,000-2,000 per day over what we normally endure. The ONLY thing that has currently flattened the curve — not sliced it, mind you, just flattened it — is staying away from each other to reduce the spread.
In the past two months, Karl-Anthony Towns lost his mother, a half-dozen NBA players have gone public with their COVID illnesses, and many coaches are in the riskiest category.
But sure, let’s go ahead and restart the NBA season anyway. And let’s make it FUN by sending everyone to the Happiest Place on Earth for a play-in or playoffs-only format. We get our TV sports back, and that’s all that matters!
If someone gets sick, who cares. Just quarantine them for a bit till they feel better. Only the weak of mind and spirit would succumb to this pandemic, right? The strong will be just fine, and NBA players are STRONG.
Heck, while we’re at it, why stop at professional athletes? Let’s encourage people all over the country to come out of their shells and co-mingle again. IT’S SUMMERTIME, DAMMIT. You can’t keep the American people down! What’s a few extra deaths anyway? It’s almost certainly not anyone you know, since we ship our elderly off the grid into group homes and never see them again anyway...
This week, the United States crossed the 100,000 death barrier from COVID-19. IN ONLY THREE MONTHS. Do you want me to do the math to spread this number over a year? Me neither. And the only reason it’s not double or triple that number per day is because we self-isolated for a while. A while.
I know you’re sick of staying home. So am I. I’ve barely been in the same room with my family in months, let alone my friends and coworkers. But that doesn’t mean our boredom makes a pandemic just disappear.
Okay, yeah, I sound frustrated. And you’re probably already in my comment section to call me a snowflake, if you’re even still here. And those of you who’ve read this far, I commend your self-restraint from clicking away already.
I want this gone too. Trust me! I don’t want this pandemic around any more than you do.
But I can’t just close my eyes, clench my fists, and whisper-wish it away. And neither can you.
Find a treatment that actually works. Give us universally accepted and proven life-hacks to reduce the spread or even make it go away. And make us keep doing those life-hacks even when they’re inconvenient.
Until then, stay away from each other.
And don’t resume a sport that requires people to huff and puff and sweat all over each other for hours upon hours, days upon days, in an indoor gym just so a very, very small number of rich people make a few more bucks than they already have.