US leagues are coming under pressure from Corona

Basically, professional sport in the US has been going almost smoothly since the summer, despite the pandemic. Corona cases are now increasing in all major leagues. Superstars are affected, games are canceled.

Los Angeles Rams players in a match against the Arizona Cardinals. Photo: Ralph Freso / AP / dpa (Image: dpa)
(Photo: Ralph Freso/AP/dpa)

Los Angeles – Superstars who tested positive for Corona and further game cancellations are putting the major US leagues under increasing pressure.

According to the AP news agency, a total of 88 people were on the Corona list in the National Football League (NFL) on December 13 and 14 alone, including Odell Beckham Jr. from the Los Angeles Rams. The Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield and his head coach Kevin Stefanski followed on December 15. In the NBA, the superstars James Harden and Giannis Antetokounmpo are currently inactive basketball players and the National Hockey League (NHL) had to extend the forced break of the Calgary Flames to at least Saturday.

The number of postponed NHL games this season is currently ten. A catch-up date has to be found for eight encounters. If too many encounters are canceled, this could have an impact on the Olympic break and put the participation of the NHL stars in the Olympic Winter Games in Beijing at risk.

Growing skepticism

Because of the unclear quarantine rules in the event of a positive test in China with possibly up to five weeks in the country before the journey home, the skepticism of some NHL stars is growing anyway. “There’s a lot going on. There are things that still have to be discussed and, hopefully, answered so that everyone feels as good as possible about sending the best NHL players to the Olympic Games, ”said the executive director of the American Ice Hockey Federation, Pat Kelleher.

Connor McDavid, with his teammate Leon Draisaitl at the Edmonton Oilers currently the most dangerous attacker in the NHL, said: «Of course I’m still the guy who wants to go to the Olympics, but we also want to make sure it’s safe for everyone. for all athletes and not just for ice hockey players. ”

According to the AP news agency, more than 140 NHL professionals were on the Corona list during the season. More than two dozen have been added in the past two days.

The Canadian province of Ontario, which is home to the Toronto Raptors with basketball national player Isaac Bonga and the NHL teams of the Ottawa Senators around ice hockey national player Tim Stützle and the Toronto Maples Leafs, enacted a capacity limit of 50 percent for large gatherings such as Professional sporting events.

NBA: More than 30 players who tested positive

The NBA had to cancel two games of the Chicago Bulls this week because the team had too few usable players. The Brooklyn Nets played at 131: 129 after extra time on December 14th with the minimum of eight eligible basketball players after superstar James Harden had to enter the league’s health and safety protocol. Of the more than 30 players who tested positive, 17 were either in the Bulls or the Nets roster. US media reported that the league is now considering mandatory booster vaccinations for coaches and staff.

The vaccination rate in the US leagues is significantly higher than that of the rest of the population. According to the NBA, 97 percent of all basketball professionals have been vaccinated twice, around 60 percent have already received a booster vaccination. As of November 30th, 94.5 percent of all NFL professionals were vaccinated, and the rate for other National Football League staff is said to be almost 100 percent. In the NHL, only four professionals were not vaccinated at the start of the season in October. In the United States, the nationwide vaccination rate is currently around 61 percent.

© dpa-infocom, dpa: 211216-99-401434 / 3
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