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Morning sports update: Here are the latest updates from North American sports leagues on coronavirus

The NBA season is suspended, and other leagues are reacting to "rapidly changing" circumstances.

The Golden 1 Center center empties after the NBA game between the Pelicans and Kings was postponed at the last minute. AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli

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:

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:


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:


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.

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:

PGA Tour

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.”


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