Is It Truly Necessary For Sports To Return Right Now? - Sports Illustrated

VIDEO: Do Sports Even Matter Right Now?

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Video Rating:
TV-G
Video Duration:
2:11

Sports have been shut down for almost 3 full months now due to the coronavirus pandemic. Now, the MLB and the NBA, among other leagues, are getting closer and closer to possible returns 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?

Read the full video transcript:

Robin Lundberg: Major League Baseball is still negotiating a possible return while the NBA's announcement seems imminent on when that season will resume. But given the current state of affairs in the country, do sports even matter right now? For more, I'm joined by our Corey Parson now. Corey, you know, today, I guess, of all days is when sports feel trivial to me. But you know, how much do they matter at this very moment?

Corey Parson: I think sports matters a lot at this very moment. 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. 

Robin Lundberg: Yeah. I mean, I guess what I was saying is today, of all days, is when it feels harder to talk about sports in the regular sense. But big picture, I think I agree with you, they could be part of our healing, both from the pandemic. And from the current state of affairs. Don't want to overstate that. But in the sense of, you know, it would give some people some good news to look forward to. 

Corey Parson:  Listen, I think hope is is something that people need right now. I think you know something. So it's to be to feel good about and to be positive about is needed right now. So I really listen, I don't want to seem trivial about what's going on in this country right now, but it's been going on for a while. Now I'm not saying it needs to be a return to action. I think this is a seminal moment right here. We're going through this pandemic. We've got race riots breaking out across the country. But I think sports is important, maybe not in this moment today, but we need to get back to some sense of normalcy. And I really think sports is a big part of day. 

Robin Lundberg: And sports and athletes, as you mentioned, have taken a real leadership role in the current moment as well. Corey, appreciate your time, as always.

For more on the sports world reacting to George Floyd's death: