Fan-filled sporting events power on despite 471k dead in the U.S.

Tampa+Bay+Buccaneers+fans+celebrate+during+Super+Bowl+55+near+Raymond+James+Stadium+on+Sunday.+

Octavio Jones/Tampa Bay Times/TNS

Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans celebrate during Super Bowl 55 near Raymond James Stadium on Sunday.

Keanu Ruffo, Sports Editor

We as American sports fans all have a piece of responsibility to uphold in preventing the spread of COVID during major sporting events.

Unfortunately, we’ve failed to do so and the effects have been disastrous.

The major sports events such as the Super Bowl, NBA Finals, and the World Series, have all caused serious spikes in cases throughout our communities in the past months.

Fan celebrations have been the serious causes of rising cases which hasn’t helped us move forward during the quarantine process.

Yes, vaccines are being distributed as we speak, but the more we meet up with friends, families, and neighbors to watch these big time games, the longer it’ll take for us to get back to normalcy.

NFL organizations allowing a limited number of fans inside their stadiums to watch games tells us that money and profit are still more important to the organizations than slowing down the spread of COVID.

For the NCAA, many college sports programs have historically lacked basic oversight to protect athlete health.

The New York times reported back in December that more than 6,600 athletes, coaches, and staff in the NCAA have all been diagnosed with COVID since last spring.

Some athletes have even had their season cut short due to life-threatening symptoms due to the virus.

The fact that the higher risk athletes which also extends to higher risk trainers, coaches, staff, families, and ultimately, the community around their sports teams, simply makes the failure to prioritize athlete’s well-being all the more inexcusable.

City and public health officials across the country should also be to blame for not laying stricter ground rules on what their teams can and can’t do.

Permanent change from local officials that leads programs to actively prioritizing both athletes’ health and the public’s health is an urgent, required action to make.

With more people getting the vaccine and COVID cases decreasing, we’re starting to head in the right direction of taking this virus more seriously.

We don’t know what a return to sports will look like after this pandemic; however we do already know that the community matters more than ever, and it is up to us individually to be responsible and do our part in slowing down the spread of COVID in our neighborhoods and cities.

With tighter restrictions and more vaccines being distributed, we can start to develop nationwide plans that will help our communities post-pandemic along with how we attend sporting events in the future.