The Coronavirus Crisis and Sports: March 24, 2020

Christopher Walsh

The big news on Tuesday was that the International Olympic Committee and Japan agreed to formally postpone the Summer Olympics to 2021 due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. 

The IOC was facing mounting pressure and criticism in their response to the COVID-19 outbreak. 

The Olympics were set to begin on July 24, with qualification events having already been cancelled. 

This marks the first occasion in which the modern Olympics have been postponed. 

A delay seemed inevitable after senior IOC member Dick Pound said that the fate of the Tokyo Olympics would be a postponement and Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe arranged a conference call with the IOC on Tuesday to propose the Games to be held in 2021. 

Abe said Bach "agreed 100 percent." 

In the corresponding video, SI’s Robin Lundberg reacts to the postponement of the Olympics.

Later Tuesday, the 2020 U.S. Olympic Track and Field trials in Eugene, Ore. were rescheduled in the aftermath of the Tokyo 2020 move.

Golf

Former Alabama standout Justin Thomas was among those due to try and qualify for the Olympics. However, the postponement of the Games until 2021 might change those plans. 

Brooks Koepka, Patrick Cantlay and Patrick Reed were among those aiming to play for Team USA. However, on the flip side Tiger Woods had stated he wanted to golf in the Olympics, and now with the Games delayed a whole year might have his shot. 

On the women's side Nelly Korda, Danielle Kang, and Lexi Thompson were all due to qualify for the US team. 

SI's Ryan Asselta breaks down the golf world implications of the Games being postponed.

Basketball/Hockey 

In light of so many pro athletes and teams pledging to pay workers during the coronavirus hiatus, the decision by Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils  to cut employees' salaries by 20 percent turned into a public-relations nightmare.  

They have reconsidered, but the NHL has since announced that it will cut pay for all employees during the shutdown. 

Groupe CH, the group that owns the Montreal Canadiens, subsequently announced it will temporarily lay off 60 percent of its employees due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Football 

The Los Angels Rams unveiled a new logo, tweaking the colors a little and going for a little modern look. 

However, the new logo does look suspiciously similar to the one used by Division-II Angelo State University in Texas.

In trying to explain some of the rationale behind the new look, other than trying to make more money, the team website said: “The LA mark was crafted with a focus on the horn intertwining with LA, ensuring that the Rams are forever tied to the city of Los Angeles”

The Rams played in Cleveland from 1936 to 1945, before moving to Los Angeles in 1946. They stayed there until the 1995 season, when it relocated again to St. Louis, Missouri and played there until 2015.

 In 2015, the team wanted to move back to Los Angeles.

Soccer

Sports Illustrated posted the latest Coronavirus + Sports podcast, which focusses on soccer, and how the Euro 2020 postponement could open door for domestic leagues

Soccer writer Grant Wahl discusses how a global pandemic is impacting the sport.

Listen/Subscribe:
Apple: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/id1503391421
Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/5BWP4CkzC9cknBvc8MFSFj
RSS: https://feeds.megaphone.fm/siplussports

Baseball

We'll leave you with this feel-good moment of the day: Vin Scully. To hear him talking about anything is always good, but in this case it's his coronavirus message:

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