The GIST: To play or not to play: that is the question many athletes are currently asking themselves as several leagues gear up to start (or restart) their seasons.
Which athletes?: Some of the MLB’s biggest stars, for starters. Los Angeles Angel Mike Trout, who is the highest paid player in the league and a BFD, is considering opting out of the upcoming season set to start on July 23rd. His wife is pregnant and due in August, and Trout isn’t stoked about putting his family at risk. Very fair.
- Trout says he doesn’t “feel comfortable” with the idea of playing, and he’s not the only one. San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey and Washington Nationals top tweeter and pitcher Sean Doolittle have voiced their concerns as well, with Doolittle assuring fans that he wants to play, but drew attention to major changes that need to happen first (like PPE for high-risk players and staff and faster test results).
Is anyone definitely opting out?: Pitcher David Price, who was set to make his debut with the LA Dodgers after he was traded in a blockbuster deal from the Boston Red Sox, and Atlanta Brave Felix Hernandez will not play this season, both citing health concerns as their reason for opting out.
Yikes. Any other athletes?: WNBA star Liz Cambage will probably sit out the upcoming season too, due to her being high-risk for serious illness, and Brooklyn Net DeAndre Jordan will miss the NBA season after testing positive for COVID-19 last week.
- In NASCAR, Jimmie Johnson is out indefinitely after becoming the first driver to test positive for the virus. The NHL’s St. Louis Blues had to cancel practice after multiple players tested positive and the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks and four other teams have closed their practice facilities due to positive cases.
- And yes, despite this laundry list of players opting out and testing positive for COVID-19, leagues are somehow still forging ahead with their plans. Risky business.