• Kayla Williams

Sports During A Pandemic

By: Dr. Tiffany Darby

Last week we talked about the school going back to school or not with COVID-19

numbers still elevated. This week, the topic of sports during the pandemic is at the

forefront of my family. I am an avid sports fan and have been my whole life. I played

basketball, volleyball and ran track in high school. After graduating from college, I went

back to my alma mater to coach high school girls basketball for several years. While

basketball is still my favorite, football has given it a run for its money. My husband is a

football coach, and he will be inducted into his college football hall of fame this fall. Our

sons’ have played sports literally since they could walk. Needless to say, sports are

part of our family. This week, many local school districts and institutions have decided

to suspend fall sports due to the pandemic, which means my husband can’t coach for

the first time in over 15 years. Pray for us lol.


We decided to keep the boys out of sports when the quarantine started. Our sons weren’t happy about it, but we are trying to keep them safe. They are used to interacting socially, practicing, and learning. They are naturally born athletes, so this has been very difficult for them. It has also been difficult as a parent to deny your child something that they enjoy so much.


We kept them out for many reasons. We think that we can keep them safe, but we

aren’t sure about others. Many people believe that wearing a mask violates their

“rights,” I do not agree. And to be honest black folks’ rights continue to be defiled, so I

don’t have much sympathy. I digress! Adults who don’t wear masks probably think that

their children don’t have to wear a mask either, and those children may be playing

sports with ours, so we can’t risk those interactions. Wearing a mask protects them from

you and vice versa. You never know what others are doing off the field/court, which

jeopardizes all. What’s interesting is that the baseball season ended up being canceled

after only a few weeks into the season, anyway. We knew we made the best choice for

us, and the cancellation of the season confirmed that.


Many major teams in all sports aren’t playing this year. Some players and teams aren't opting out, while others will have limited seasons. With the Ohio Board of Health announcing this week that all schools should start virtually, there have already been simultaneously announcements about local youth sports. While I feel bad that kids won’t be able to experience sports this year, I am glad that they will be safe. We are living in unprecedented times that call for unconventional measures. Like me, many of you love

sports and can’t wait to watch again; please take the necessary precautions so that we

can one day get back to watching both our children and professionals healthily play

sports!


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