The sports world continues to react to coronavirus, which the World Health Organization officially declared a pandemic on Wednesday.
Here’s what North American sports leagues have said in the last 24 hours about coronavirus:
On Wednesday night, moments before a game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and Utah Jazz was set to tip off, officials quickly conferred and called it off:
.@royceyoung reports that the Thunder-Jazz game was seconds away from tipping off when the Thunder’s head medical staffer sprinted onto the floor to talk to referees in Oklahoma City.
At that point, players and staff were sent back to their respective locker rooms. pic.twitter.com/WsSOU09kVP
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) March 12, 2020
It was later revealed that Jazz center Rudy Gobert had become the first NBA player to test positive for coronavirus.
Within an hour, NBA league officials decided to suspend games following Wednesday night:
NBA To Suspend Season Following Tonight’s Games pic.twitter.com/2PTx2fkLlW
— NBA (@NBA) March 12, 2020
On Thursday morning, the NWHL announced that the Isobel Cup Final, originally scheduled for Friday at Warrior Ice Arena between the Boston Pride and the Minnesota Whitecaps, had been postponed.
“At the appropriate time, the NWHL, Pride and Whitecaps will reschedule the Isobel Cup Final for a later date in Boston,” the league said in a statement.
In reaction to the NBA announcement, the NHL released a statement on Wednesday night saying that the league was “continuing to consult with medical experts and is evaluating the options.”
The league will make an announcement on Thursday.
Additionally, the Columbus Blue Jackets announced that they will play home games without fans to comply with an order from Ohio Gov. Mike DeWise to prevent large public gatherings.
On Thursday morning, the NHL issued an additional statement:
Given the uncertainty regarding next steps regarding the coronavirus, Clubs are advised not to conduct morning skates, practices or team meetings today.
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) March 12, 2020
Update (11:42 a.m.): Major League Soccer confirmed in a statement that the season has been suspended for 30 days.
Update (10:58 a.m.): According to Sports Illustrated’s Grant Wahl, MLS season has been suspended.
MLS is suspending its season immediately until further notice due to coronavirus, a source with knowledge of the situation tells Sports Illustrated.
— Grant Wahl (@GrantWahl) March 12, 2020
The Seattle Sounders announced on Wednesday that the club’s March 21st home game against FC Dallas had been postponed due to a statewide order from Gov. Jay Inslee to prevent public gatherings of more than 250 people.
Later on Wednesday, after it was announced that a second game (San Jose Earthquakes hosting Sporting Kansas City) was postponed, MLS released a statement.
The league continues to plan for games to go on, for the moment, noting “the league and clubs are also taking measures to ensure we have a safe environment for all who participate in our matches.”
However, the league added that the issue is “rapidly changing,” and that clubs are in “continuous dialogue with local and regional health authorities.”
In compliance with Gov. Inslee’s mandate for Washington, the Mariners are currently set to play their home games elsewhere. The team was slated to open the 2020 season at home in a series against the Texas Rangers (March 26-29).
The Mariners could play home games in Arizona, according to Evan Drellich of The Athletic.
The Giants also released a statement saying that the team would not play a scheduled exhibition game in San Francisco to comply with the city ban on public gatherings for two weeks.
The players association released a statement saying that, “As circumstances evolve, our efforts will evolve as well.”
While specific conferences have reacted differently to coronavirus (the Ivy League cancelled its conference basketball tournaments on Tuesday), the NCAA President Mark Emmert announced on Wednesday that it would limit attendance at championship events to “only essential staff and limited family attendance.”
Here’s the statement:
— NCAA (@NCAA) March 11, 2020
In a statement, the PGA Tour said that the Players Championship — currently underway — would continue, “although we will absolutely continue to review recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control, World Health Organization and local health administrations.”
More from Boston.com:
- NBA suspending season due to coronavirus concerns
- Patient Zero: How Rudy Gobert’s coronavirus diagnosis is impacting the NBA
- Whatever it is, Bill Belichick and Tom Brady need to get over it
- Bruins postpone ceremony to honor 1970 Stanley Cup team
- Bruins to play Sharks in empty arena on March 21 due to coronavirus
- 10 New Hampshire towns approve sports betting retail locations
- Vince Carter knew the end was near, but not this soon
- Mikaela Shiffrin denied chance to defend ski crown, races canceled
- American women hide US Soccer logo during anthem in protest
- NCAA tournaments are on – for now – but mostly without fans
The suspension of the NBA season could mean the end of Vince Carter’s 22-year career earlier than expected:
“Game’s been good.”
Vince Carter got teary-eyed when discussing potentially playing his final game. pic.twitter.com/a2WFp8kBDm
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) March 12, 2020
Amid concerns about coronavirus, the Olympic torch was lit ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Games scheduled to open July 24:
— #Tokyo2020 (@Tokyo2020) March 12, 2020
The Patriots have reportedly picked up Jason McCourty’s option:
The Patriots have officially picked up the 2020 option for CB Jason McCourty, per source. McCourty had another rock solid year in 2019, starting 10 of 12 games. He will carry a cap charge of $5.5M for this season.
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) March 12, 2020
On this day: In 1985, Larry Bird scored 60 against the Hawks to set a new Celtics record.
Daily highlight: Christen Press doubled the U.S. lead against Japan in the SheBelieves Cup on Wednesday night with a perfectly weighted chip. The Americans won the game 3-1 to finish the competition as champions.