The NHL, COVID-19 And The 2022 Beijing Olympics

Why weren’t Islanders games postponed with a COVID-19 running through the roster?

The National Hockey League’s upper management didn’t postpone New York Islanders games despite the fact that the team was missing about one-third of its roster because of COVID-19 illnesses. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman didn’t bother postponing Islanders games after the league postponed a number of Ottawa Senators games because some of the Senators players came down with the COVID-19 illness. Why didn’t the league postpone the Islanders games after Senators games were not played? Bettman may have his eye on something else. A marketing opportunity in China. The 2022 Beijing Olympics begins on February 4th. The NHL will be shut down for most of February and perhaps that is why the league didn’t shut down Islanders games despite the COVID-19 cluster on the team. Was it the games could not be made up because of the Olympics break and the NHL is keeping to a timeline?

Bettman and the National Hockey League Players Association Executive Director Donald Fehr are sending the players into a Beijing Olympics that has become a major headache for the International Olympic Committee which has to deal with various problems. There are calls on leaders of countries to boycott the opening ceremonies event for various reasons including China’s human rights record, Uyghur oppression and then there is the curious story of the missing Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai. The United States has accused China of committing genocide on the Uyghurs. Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have published reports accusing China of crimes against humanity. China still has not provided answers about the origins of COVID-19. Bettman and everyone connected with sports across the globe now have an Omicron problem. Not much is known about the newest COVID-19 variant. New York Governor Kathy Huchul has already declared a medical emergency in anticipation of an outbreak. COVID-19 is not going away.

Evan Weiner’s books are available at iTunes –  

(AP Photo/Marta Lavandier)