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Do Sports Even Matter Right Now?

A look at how the sports world is reacting to what's going on in the United States right now, and the best of Sports Illustrated

We know that sports are often the escape, and opinions on some subjects will vary greatly. The purpose of this article is to describe and demonstrate how the sports world is reacting what's going on in this country. 

If it isn't your cup of tea, head on down to "Did You Notice?" for some really fun stuff. However, as America tries to sort through all of its feelings about what's going on, it's important that we hear from the people in the sports world who are speaking out. 

Sports have been shut down for almost three full months due to the coronavirus pandemic. The NHL, followed by other leagues, is getting getting closer and closer to possible return to action. But with the protests that have broken out across the country to disastrous results in reaction to the murder of George Floyd, do sports even matter right now? Is it necessary for a distraction? Or is it good for the country to have to focus on what's happening and not have sports to take away from it?

"I think sports matters a lot at this very moment," Sports Illustrated's Corey Parson says. "You've seen a lot of athletes speak up and come out this week. A lot of people have talked about how they have race relations started in locker rooms, being around, other athletes, being around other people of different coaches. You look at fandom, how many times have you been at a sports bar, at an arena and you're cheering for your favorite team and you're given a high five or hug to the guy right next to you? I think it takes our mind off of some of the stuff. We're used to watching the NFL Red Zone channel on Sundays. 

'Nights this weekend, we were basically watching riot redzone as we saw cities getting torn down from across the country. So I think it's very important right now that sports do come back. I think sports would be a big help right now. To kind of take some angst away from people."

Major League Baseball is still negotiating a possible return while the NBA's announcement seems imminent on when that season will resume. Colleges, including at Alabama, are in the process of having players back on campus. 

Meanwhile, athletes around the world have used their platforms to share thoughts on police brutality and social injustice. They include Alabama's Greg Byrne and Nick Saban

Meanwhile, Dabo Swinney swung and missed with his statement about the killing of George Floyd.

"If you didn't see North Carolina Central coach, LeVelle Moton's Twitter thread about personally being racially profiled, having guns pointed at him after being pulled out of his car several years ago, I suggest that as reading," SI's Pat Forde said. "There's a lot of people, obviously, who have had those sorts of experiences inside athletics or outside."


More reaction ... 

• The killing of George Floyd shows that athletes shouldn’t have to stick to sports

• Celtics star Jaylen Brown drove 15 hours to his hometown of Atlanta to help lead a peaceful protest

• JR Smith was captured on video beating up a man who allegedly broke the window of his truck. He later publicly apologized

Read More

• The George Floyd protests have resonated particularly strongly across the NBA.

• Reaction to Dan Le Batard's comments on the justice for George Floyd protests.

• Opinion: SI's Michael Rosenberg sheds light on Colin Kaepernick and why his mission to bring light on these issues were correct this whole time.

The Latest on Football Programs Reopening

As student-athletes return to campus in anticipation of a fall season, not everyone is handling testing the same—and even doctors are in disagreement. Meanwhile, on Monday, Marshall announced that two athletes and a staff member tested positive for coronavirus and were being quarantined.

SI's Ross Dellenger takes a long look at the coronavirus' deadliest weapon: asymptomatic spread.

How the asymptomatic athlete can derail college athletics. And why schools, and doctors, disagree on testing. Says on epidemiologist of reopening plans: “They’re taking chances"

To Test or Not Test: The Question That Could Determine the College Football Season

Did You Notice?

• Ranking the eight matchups for the NHL’s playoff play-in round

• WWE Wrestlers call out Jaxson Ryker for some poor judgement.  

• Celtics rookie Grant Williams has a passion for outer space fostered by his mom’s career at NASA.

The Lighter Side ... 

• Monday was anniversary of Braves minor-league coach Phillip Wellman's  monumental blowup on June 1, 2007. 

• Bill Belichick’s dog’s appearance during the draft caused a spike in the popularity of the breed.

• The spectacular rise and sudden fall of print media ... on the softball field.

For more SI Hot Clicks