Updates from the Sports World regarding COVID-19.
-On Monday, the NFL announced that it will indefinitely postpone all league-related physicals. The NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport is saying that Dr. Anthony Casolaro, who is president of the NFL Physicians Society, sent a letter out to the rest of the league that said free agents and draft prospects will not be examined until the Coronavirus Pandemic has passed. NFL.com had this to say regarding the pending status of certain off-season free agency moves, “Generally, a player needs to pass a physical before a team is able to finalize and announce a free-agent signing or trade. But NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported last week that the league amended the rules governing when a club may announce such a transaction. Teams are permitted to announce deals when parties have reached agreement on the terms of a contract and the written contract has been sent to a player and his agent.”
-The NFL is expected to institute league-wide mandates regarding travel and interaction with individuals starting tonight. ESPN’s Adam Schefter said that last night, Commissioner Roger Goodell sent a memo out to the league saying it wants to “ensure that all clubs operate on a level playing field, and that the NFL continues to conduct itself in a responsible way at this time.” The memo said all team facilities are to remain close to everybody except essential facilities/medical personnel. The league will re-assess the effectiveness of these new guidelines on April 8th.
-The NFL is reportedly working on combining charity and the NFL Draft. Earlier today, Adam Schefter reported that the league is planning on implementing charitable efforts into the NFL Draft which is set to take place April 23-25. On March 21st, Sam Farmer of the LA Times reported that the NFL Draft will take place in a TV studio-setting with all participating teams operating out of their individual headquarters.
-The NHL announced it is extending its recommended period of isolation time for players and other NHL personnel. Yesterday, NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said the league told its members to push back the end date of their self-quarantine period to April 6th from March 27th. This decision comes after the league spent the last two days making conference calls to the NHL Board of Governors and team GMs regarding the state of the NHL season pause. There is still no official word at this time as to when the league will resume play.
-Early this morning, superstar big man Karl-Anthony Towns posted a video on Instagram announcing that his mother has fallen seriously ill, and the cause of her sickness could be Coronavirus. Towns said that his mother is in a medically induced coma after showing symptoms of COVID-19. Towns also said in the 5:47 video, “[My family] told me to make this video so that people understand that the severity of this disease is real… This disease needs to not be taken lightly. Please protect your families, your loved ones, your friends, yourself. Practice social distancing. Please don’t be in places with a lot of people; it just heightens your chances of getting this disease, and this disease … it’s deadly. It’s deadly. And we’re going to keep fighting on my side, me and my family, we’re going to keep fighting this. We’re going to beat it; we’re going to win.”
-Yesterday, the NBA and NBAPA announced they are making a $2 million contribution to local and global Coronavirus relief efforts. The donation was made as part of the league’s “NBATogether” movement which is committed to raising $50 million for the global Coronavirus relief. NBATogether was launched by the league on March 20th.
-The league announced it will be hosting “Opening Day At Home” all day tomorrow. The MLB will be broadcasting 30 games on TV and various other digital platforms to give fans the feeling of experiencing the opening day of the MLB season. Opening Day was originally scheduled to begin tomorrow, Thursday, March 26th before the MLB elected to push back the season’s start date. There is no new information at this time regarding the potential start date of the MLB season.