(CBSLA) — The biggest story in the sports world is that, for the most part there are no sports, at least for now.
With the rapid spread of COVID-19 strain of coronavirus, the NBA and NHL have suspended their seasons just as their respective playoff races were picking up. They may continue their seasons, they may not. The NCAA cancelled March Madness entirely. MLB ended Spring Training and delayed Opening Day, originally scheduled for March 26, by at least two weeks. Other leagues and organizations, including MLS and the PGA Tour, have acted similarly.
All of this has happened since Wednesday.
Coronavirus is shaping up to be the story of the year in the sports world, and may very well become the story of the century to date. In the short-term, it’s removed players from courts and fields and fans from stands.
For this reason, it’s a little surprising how quiet local athletes have been about it on Twitter.
Los Angles Angels star outfielder Mike Trout took a step back from baseball to urge everyone to stay healthy for his game’s future return.
We’re all at a spot right now that won’t last forever. To those who share the love of baseball, sport, life… we will all be back together soon. @JessTara and I urge everyone to take precautions to stay healthy 🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼
— Mike Trout (@MikeTrout) March 13, 2020
Los Angeles Lakers star forward and worldwide celebrity LeBron James lamented a rough start to the year.
Man we cancelling sporting events, school, office work, etc etc. What we really need to cancel is 2020! 🤦🏾♂️. Damn it’s been a rough 3 months. God bless and stay safe🙏🏾
— LeBron James (@KingJames) March 12, 2020
Neither felt it necessary to comment on an issue that’s changing the country in realtime. And despite their stature in their respective leagues — Trout a three-time AL MVP and James the face of pro basketball — neither questioned the actions that have delayed and could end their seasons. Aside from their anodyne Tweets, the LA athlete Twitter-sphere has remained largely silent.
The careless actions of Rudy Gobert, the NBA’s patient zero, could be one reason. The Utah Jazz center joked about the hysteria surrounding coronavirus, going so far as to touch the media’s mics and devices. He soon tested positive for the virus and may have infected teammate Donovan Mitchell. Reactions have been overwhelmingly negative. Gobert has since apologized for his carelessness.
The other reason might just be that everyone realizes that the danger posed by coronavirus is much larger than sports.