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COVID-19 Pandemic and Sports

Sport is a great contributor to both social and economic development. Its critical role is well acknowledged by governments. For instance, the United Nations Political Declaration of the 2030 Agenda highlighted that sports make major contributions to the empowerment of young people and women, individuals and societies, and education, social, and health inclusion objectives (Garcia-Garcia et al., 2020). However, since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, the sport has been negatively affected because of strict measures enacted to combat the spread of the virus including physical and social distancing strategies, lockdowns of schools, and businesses among others. Besides, to curb the spread of coronavirus, various governments introduced testing for individuals, players included. However, NFL ceased testing players for coronavirus in the playoffs.

After the outbreak of Covid-19, there were cancellations or postponements of major sporting activities at the regional, national, and international levels including football and marathon tournaments, and all types of games to protect the health of players and other individuals involved. This pandemic caused postponements, adjustments, and cancellations of sports activities for almost two years. However, after Covid-19 was subsidized, sports activities started but with testing of all athletes which was later stopped by the NFL because of various reasons.

Although politicians stressed wearing masks in SoFi Stadium, many players ignored it. For instance, Los Angeles government officials held a press conference to attempt and encourage sports fans to observe health and safety measures at the stadium when there was a Super Bowl, measures that were greatly not followed during the NFC championship event where some politicians were involved. Although fans were demanded to put their mask on while in SoFi Stadium, despite their status of vaccination, government officials acknowledged that there is no way police can control all the fans in the field. There was an exception of wearing masks when eating or drinking. Nevertheless, as noted by James Butts, the mayor of Inglewood, one cannot force people to put on their masks every time. Officials noted that reminding people to wear masks and forcing them are two different phrases. As noted by Kathryn Barger, there is no difference when people are consistently followed to wear masks or enforced to do the same.

After the resumption of athletics activities, several positive cases were recorded at the Olympics games including fans, players, and stakeholders such as media and workers. However, Dr. Brian McCloskey, the chief of the Beijing 2022 Medical Expert Panel noted that they expected to get those cases although the risk has been minimized. This McCloskey’s briefing was done on the same day Belgian skeleton racer, Kim Meylemans was allowed to the Olympic field after posting on social media regarding isolation over Covid-19 concerns. Nevertheless, she tested positive for coronavirus upon her arrival and she had to go for isolation until she tested negative for the virus. Although she needed several days of testing while in isolation before she was released, International Olympic Committee and Belgian Olympic officials intervened and their main objective was to have Kim in the Olympic village. Eventually, NFL stopped testing for players.

In conclusion, I believe that the NFL’s decision to stop testing for players is not quite a good decision. Although it acknowledged that there was no difference between vaccinated and unvaccinated players for the testing, I think every player should be tested regardless of their status. If NFL does not reverse this decision, I believe that coronavirus will be spent at a higher rate because these players can still contract the virus.


Garcia-Garcia, B., James, M., Koller, D., Lindholm, J., Mavromati, D., Parrish, R., & Rodenberg, R. (2020). The impact of Covid-19 on sports: a mid-way assessment. The International Sports Law Journal20(3), 115-119.


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