The Great Test Debate: Sports’ Biggest Hurdle to Return
Every day it seems like there is new news about sports returning to our lives. The Bundesliga in Germany will be back next Saturday. UFC has an event this Saturday. Major League Baseball is likely targeting July 1st as their start date. Things are starting to take shape as we open back up post-COVID-19. The one big question for all the leagues is this, can we test everyone and if we can, are we not going to look like assholes? The last part might be hard, but sports need to drown out the noise around them and push on.
Each NBA team stated to USA Today about when they’re returning to their practice gyms. It seems our Milwaukee Bucks would like to come back sometime next week. Part of me wonders if the Bucks, who are plugged in politically, know something that we do not about the stay-at-home rules being altered. Further, the MMAC, a commerce group in Milwaukee advocated that some businesses should be allowed to return to work next week. The only one that provided some push back was Mark Cuban of the Dallas Mavericks. He wondered about how the team will provide testing for everyone. Texas is handing out 25,000+ tests a day. I don’t think there will be an issue with testing the Mavericks. The word ‘test’ sounds big and scary but in reality, it is not. Tests are being handed out rapidly.
Some express the same concern with baseball. Will there be enough tests to support a Major League Baseball team? The answer is yes. People have their heads either buried in the sand, or they’re wondering if it will be morally wrong for a sports team to have tested over others. Let’s take the Milwaukee Brewers for example. The number needed to be tested is 125. Wisconsin projects to hand out 4,700 daily tests on June 1st. If Brewers’ 125 were among those tests that day, it is 2.6% of all the testing done that day. For other teams in larger states, the percentage is smaller. No one should object to these players being tested before starting up again with practice or spring training.
Now comes the part that no one wants to say out loud. Can this happen without seeming like we’re better than everyone else? Baseball, basketball, and hockey need to put their blinders on. The country is always mad at things. There will be people mad at each league. But with the amount of daily testing happening in each state, how can anyone say these players are getting preferred treatment? Every American will not be tested. It is not feasibly possible. That is reality people need to face as we head into the second part of this. The sooner people grasp that concept the better everything becomes in society.
The return of sports doesn’t only impact our collective psyche as a nation. Multiple things get a boost when sports return to our life. The testing paranoia offered by some is not truly a thing when you consider the daily tests. And if sports worry too much about how they’re perceived, the cost of that might not be enough to come back from.