Athletics in The Age of Covid-19

Athletics+in+The+Age+of+Covid-19

School is back in session at Parkview, and many students are involved in sports or they enjoy attending sporting events such as football games. With the health of the student body and athletes in jeopardy, guidelines and restrictions had to be put in place to protect them this season. 

Crowds have been allowed to attend all GHSA sports events but at a 30% capacity.  At Parkview, The Corky Kell Classic was canceled due to the spread of the virus within the opposing team, The Mill Creek Hawks. On September 11th, Parkview hosted their first home football game. A student who was recently tested showed up to the game and came into close contact with several people. The next day the student discovered they tested positive.

An anonymous student source claims, “She walked up to me wearing a mask, but then to talk to people she pulled it down. She ended up taking it off for pictures and TikTok.”

As of September 17th masks are required at all outdoor events in Gwinnett County Schools which includes football games. This will be in effect for all Gwinnett attendees of the game at Loganville on September 25th, 7:30pm.  

In the NFL certain states are allowing fans, but other teams such as  The Atlanta Falcons do not allow fans in the stadium. College Football permits fans with a maximum capacity of 25% which will be saved for students and season ticket holders.

When The Georgia High School Association (GHSA)  decided to allow sports to carry on as normal, they had to put specific guidelines in place to protect players and coaches from Covid-19. In sports like football it is practically impossible to follow social distancing regulations while playing, which makes it easier for those players to contract the virus. This is a risk to players who have underlying health issues or family with underlying health issues.

Players had to make the choice to play their sport or to not participate– in other words, to opt-out. Athletes who are currently “opting out” are essential players who have secured a spot on their team with a starting position, but are choosing not to participate. These athletes are likely to have already signed with a college team, or they are hoping to. It can be hard for players to opt out.  They could lose their scholarship or have a harder time getting offers because they can’t show their skills or grow as players.  This is a hard decision for them to make. They are choosing between their health or a loved one’s health and their favorite game. For some, this will greatly affect their future.

Ohio State commit and one the country’s top Cornerbacks, Jordan Hancock of North Gwinnett, has decided to opt-out of his senior season due to his parents’ unstable heal“I have decided to sit out my senior year of football due to my mother’s current breast cancer fight and my father’s current heart conditions.  I love North Gwinnett and will never forget the precious memories I made with the community, the coaches, and my brothers I call my teammates”