Every athlete recalls their coach informing them to, “leave it all on the field,” or “leave it all on the court.” But what happens when you can’t enter the field/court again? How do you handle being an athlete in high school or college with one year of eligibility left yet the uncertainty of the upcoming sports season is still in limbo?
The year 2020 will be a year that history will continue to redefine. While Black people are fighting for their lives to MATTER, Covid-19 is continuing to shut down many establishments and cause even further divides than Black Lives Matter.
Across high school and college campuses this past spring, sports came to a complete halt. All sports canceled based upon Covid-19. If you were a senior, you had a very different graduation than others. But for those senior softball, baseball, track and field, etc., sports, their final chance to leave it on the field occurred spring 2019.
Now, let’s look forward to the fall. One of the most popular known Ivy League institutions not only went to all online classes but also canceled their sports for the academic year. Harvard University may be leading the charge on combatting the disease known as Covid-19, however, it also hinders athletes from their chance at leaving it all on the field.
So many youth turn to sports at a young age that they tend to only see themselves in that particular sport until they reach high school. Scholars dream of going to college and then becoming an athlete upon receiving their degree from an accredited institution. The curse here is less than 0.003% of starting varsity athletes go on to become successful in their respective sport for 3-5 years.
Knowing that athletes typically won’t go on and be in their respective sport SHOULD push them to be extremely competitive each and every opportunity they get. You never know when a tackle may tear an ACL, or a triple jump tear an Achilles, but no matter what we need to leave it on the field.
Unfortunately, Covid-19 will strip many athletes the opportunity to give their best before they go on to the “real world.” How unfair a concept this may be? We would rather strip these athletes of this opportunity opposed to a burial due to this virus. Yes, research shows that athletes are generally in great health and the virus wouldn’t affect them as opposed to a human with a weaker immune system (i.e. babies, elderly, sick, etc.). Yet, who wants to make that decision because the blood would be on their hands.
Do you side on caution and cancel sports or do you side with let’s get back to normal? Either way this goes, I side with all athletes whatever their decision may be. Even if the governors allow sports, it’s still on the athletes to actually play. No matter what, I hope that athletes either have left it on the field or plan to leave it there once it’s time.