But the NHL is not the only league with a credibility problem because of COVID-19.
The National Hockey League has an integrity problem because of the Delta and Omicron variants of the COVID-19 illness. The league allowed the New York Islanders to play in November despite 40 percent of the team’s roster being infected with COVID-19. The league stopped Ottawa Senators games around the same time because of COVID-19. The league paused operations for a few days and returned only to postpone games again. The NHL is not alone in putting out a flawed product that has been impacted by COVID-19. The National Basketball Association is resisting canceling games as much as possible. To fill rosters, teams are literally signing players off the streets. The National Football League has pushed back games because of COVID-19 outbreaks among teams and is forging ahead. The college football industry got very lucky and was able to get its two playoff games played. Other college football games were canceled because of Omicron.
The Brooklyn Nets franchise has Kyrie Irving back on the roster on a part time basis but he cannot take part in games in Brooklyn and against the Knicks in Manhattan. He refuses to take a COVID-19 vaccine. New York City’s vaccine mandate requires all residents to have at least one shot of any COVID vaccine to enter indoor gyms. In Washington, Wizards guard Bradley Beal took a coronavirus vaccine and will be able to play games within the District at the Wizards’ arena. Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser issued a mandate saying no one can enter entertainment venues and indoor facilities, without taking a COVID-19 starting on January 15th. Washington joins New York City and San Francisco mandating shots to enter large indoor venues. The NHL still has a problem. There are different rules in the United States and Canada for quarantine for those recovering from COVID-19 and that will continue to impact the product.
Evan Weiner’s books are available at iTunes – https://books.apple.com/us/author/evan-weiner/id595575191