HBO Plots Pandemic Sports Doc 'The Day Sports Stood Still'

The sports world came to a halt on March 11 due to COVID-19. The NBA suspended all games after Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz tested positive. Now HBO is plotting a documentary about that fateful night. The Day Sports Stood Still will tell the story of the shutdown, as well as the events that followed.

According to a press release, director Antoine Fuqua (Muhammad Ali) will "chronicle the abrupt stoppage, athletes’ prominent role in the cultural reckoning on racial injustices that escalated during the pandemic." He will partner with producers Brian Grazer and Justin Wilkes to bring the project to the premium cable provider. The series will debut in 2021 on HBO and HBO Max.

The series will heavily involve NBA star Chris Paul, a point guard for the Oklahoma City Thunder. He was in the middle of a game on March 11 when the season came to an abrupt halt. He and his teammates were set to play the Utah Jazz and made it partway through the first quarter. However, league play stopped and forced the players to go home and into quarantine. When this stoppage happened, Grazer called the NBA player and discussed turning the negative into a documentary.

"Last March when the NBA announced they were postponing the season, Chris Paul and I spoke and he said to me 'we have to document this,'" Grazer said. "Antoine was our next call and days later, we started filming. We knew this was a unique story, but no one could have predicted the emotional twists and turns that came with bringing the game back. It’s been an incredible journey and a point in history that none of us will forget."

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Along with Paul, stars from other leagues will take part in the documentary to relive the temporary end of sports, the times at home trying to remain healthy and taking part in protests about social injustice. The press release says that a Super Bowl champion will discuss volunteering in the ER throughout the pandemic, as well as a WNBA star that opted out of the 2020 season.

"It is an unbelievable opportunity to be able to work with Brian and Antoine to tell the collective story of the sports world over the last few months," Paul said. "Brian had called me while I was still in the locker room that fateful night on March 11 and from there, we have been working to give the audience a deeper look into this momentous time in history."