There are several sports leagues that are looking to resume play in the next month on two after suspending operations due to the coronavirus pandemic. And while that's exciting for fans, Dr. Anthony Fauci is not confident that all sports will return, at least this year. The country's top infectious disease expert spoke to the New York Times and said some sports leagues may have to skip this year to protect the health and safety of the athletes and fans.
"Safety, for the players and for the fans, trumps everything," Fauci said, per CBS Sports. "If you can't guarantee safety, then unfortunately you're going to have to bite the bullet and say, 'We may have to go without this sport for this season.'" Fauci's remarks come after saying earlier this month that sports could return if there are no fans attending the game sand player stay in hotels nearby. In the most recent interview, Fauci said he would love for sports to return. However, getting more people tested is a priority, and right now the country is not in a place where that can happen.
"I would love to be able to have all sports back," Fauci said. "But as a health official and a physician and a scientist, I have to say, right now, when you look at the country, we're not ready for that yet." There are over 1 million cases of COVID-19 in the U.S., the most out of any country. However, several sports leagues are planning out their returns if things get better in the next month or two.
MLB is looking to start the season in June or July. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic wrote: "The most realistic time range for Opening Day — somewhere between mid-June and July 4, in the view of most officials — would allow for an 80- to 100-game regular season, with the schedule running through October. An expanded postseason at neutral sites might follow, with the World Series ending in late November or early December."
The NFL season is scheduled to start in September. However, the league has a contingency plan in case the season has to be pushed back five weeks. If that happens, the Super Bowl will be played on Feb. 28, and the Pro Bowl will be canceled.