This could get people killed
It’s been about a month since the sports world ground to a halt and while everyone is missing the games, any sane person can recognize that it’s necessary to ensure public safety.
The government of Florida, however, is not made up of sane people.
The state’s governor, Ron DeSantis, dragged his feet on issuing a shelter-in-place order, even as coronavirus cases in the state grew. Now, he’s loosening that order with a decision made late last week to exempt sporting events.
A memo signed by DeSantis on Thursday—but only revealed Monday—cleared the way for WWE to be deemed an “essential business.” The memo extends essential business designation to “professional sports and media” with a national audience.
It’s a terrible decision made even worse by how WWE decided to take advantage of it. Before DeSantis’s shelter-in-place order went into effect April 3, WWE pre-taped more than two weeks of programming, including WrestleMania. The company could have chosen to pre-tape in bulk again after the governor’s amendment but instead will have performers fly in from around the country every week to film live shows three times per week—even after a WWE employee present at the WrestleMania tapings tested positive for the coronavirus.
WWE competitor AEW also needs to fill weeks of TV under bizarre circumstances but has decided instead to tape weeks of programming in advance. Those tapings (which took place outside Atlanta) have not featured “Hangman” Adam Page, who has opted instead to stay at his home in Virginia and encourage everyone else to do the same.
He also tweeted (tongue in cheek) about how social distancing has made him realize how unimportant his job is.
It’s true. The world is much better off right now with Page sitting in his house, tweeting and eating junk food than going to airport and traveling to swap germs with another guy in a wrestling match.
DeSantis’s memo changes things though. After hearing that the state of Florida now considers his profession on par with healthcare and food supply, Page summed up his feelings in two words.
A DeSantis spokesperson told ESPN that decision to include sports under the essential business umbrella was “because they are critical to Florida's economy.”
Many Republicans—DeSantis included—have expressed concern about the impact virus-containment efforts could have on the economy and placed business ahead of public safety. The lieutenant governor of Texas even offered himself as a human sacrifice to get the economy rolling again and suggested other senior citizens would be willing to do the same.
Hangman has already made it clear where he stands on that issue.
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