Editorial: Sports Stadiums Reopen

Pavle Ristic, Sports Editor

By Pavle Ristic

Sports Editor

   In the midst of a pandemic which has caused more than 500,000 Americans to lose their lives, the Texas Rangers played their home season opener in front of a sellout crowd of 40,300 people.

   As people become increasingly impatient with the circumstances brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, many are trying to rush their way back to normalcy. A handful of states, including Texas, have dropped their mask mandates and

I’m enormously disappointed, and it was a wrong confrontation in the face of reality”

— Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee

allowed for businesses to conduct themselves as they did pre-pandemic, according to ABC News
(abcnews.go.com). According to WRIC-TV, the decision by the Rangers even brought about a statement by President Joe Biden, objecting to the Rangers not following CDC guidelines (wric.com). 

   Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, sports leagues have set the standard for how careful the public should be with the virus. The NBA led the way becoming the first major sports league to react to COVID-19, and others followed suit, setting a good example for the rest of the country. The Rangers have broken this streak of sound and careful decision making and put thousands of people at risk as a result. Texas Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee went as far as to label it a “disaster,” before continuing, “I’m enormously disappointed, and it was a wrong confrontation in the face of reality” (news.com.au).

   The Rangers have grossly misjudged the amount of responsibility that falls on their shoulders. After so many athletes and sports organizations have shown how seriously they have taken this pandemic, it takes just one wrong step for that all to fall apart. As President Biden said, “This is no time to lessen our efforts” (news.com.au).

   Junior Nicholas Villalobos is a baseball fan who has attended a few Padres games at Petco Park (which is currently open with limited capacity) this season. Villalobos shared, “It’s a little disappointing to be completely honest. There’s nothing anyone would want more than to feel that atmosphere of a packed ballpark again but not at the risk of so many people’s health. Everyone has waited so long for everything to return to normal already so what difference does a little more wait mean when it could have such a huge impact?”

   Congresswoman Lee hit the nail on the head: the Rangers took an unrealistic approach to the easing of restrictions which are happening slowly across the country. By packing their stadium full of fans, they are sending a message saying “It’s all good,” when in reality there is still a long way to go before everything can go back to how it was before the COVID-19 pandemic.