The return of sport exposes the lie of American exceptionalism

We are the reason why we still don’t have sports. We being us, the people.

Our wavering attempts to return to sports are caused by the same forces that have prevented us from adequately dealing with this pandemic, a mixture of arrogance, impatience, partisanship, and the accompanying misinformation that has given the lie to the fairy tale that we were told. we count ourselves. American exceptionalism.

In our conviction that we are a special nation, chosen above all others, a brilliant city on a hill, a beacon of hope, under God, we have assumed that nature will favor us, reduce us a little. Or some of us have, anyway. Enough of us to derail all the effort to stop a festering virus that doesn’t take into account our enormous self-esteem. The coronavirus continues to run rampant, emerging from coast to coast, especially in the places they decided they were done with.

We blocked ourselves and then we didn’t, influenced by a feeling of invincibility and a perverse belief that the economy could be rescued by allowing the pandemic to end. We did most of the work and then walked away from work, encouraged by a subconscious belief that the rules never apply to these United States as they do to other nations, who saw the task complete and flattened and then hit their curves again . the land.

So they have sports and we don’t. Most of the rest of the world has already returned to professional sports. In empty stadiums, no doubt, but they have their games back.

The United States’ response to the coronavirus pandemic has not been exceptional, at all, and sports are among the industries that suffer. (Photo by Jamie Squire / Getty Images)

The Japanese baseball and soccer leagues have been restarted. Also baseball and soccer leagues in South Korea, which had its first COVID-19 case the same day as the United States. The Chinese Professional Baseball League already has nearly 40 games in its season. In Europe, the English Premier League, the German Bundesliga, the Italian Serie A and the Spanish League have resumed. Leagues that close their stations prematurely, like those in France and the Netherlands, seem a little reckless in retrospect. Those who persevered are picking up loot with some of the highest television ratings in the United States, with no competition from the American leagues.

Even countries that had their own stumbles and stumbles in tackling the pandemic, such as the United Kingdom, are back.

The American sports restart, on the other hand, is not going well.

The first American league scheduled to return, the National Women’s Soccer League, which will kick off on Saturday, pulled out a whole team on Monday after several Orlando Pride players broke protocol and went to bars. Six players tested positive and four staff members as well, and the team was withdrawn from the tournament-style Challenge Cup. By then, several NWSL star players had already announced they would not participate, led by Megan Rapinoe.

The nasty Major League Baseball fight between players and team owners for money seems picturesque, considering that the Philadelphia Phillies had to close their camp for eight positive tests, possibly also crossing to the Toronto Blue Jays camp. The MLB bubble plan has been scrapped and the teams are now planning to prepare for whatever season there may be in their home markets, with spring training already turning into summer training. In total, 40 players and staff are currently positive.

In college football, Kansas State was the last team to close training when 14 players tested positive. That came immediately after Houston stopped their practices, too. LSU has dozens of players in quarantine. At Clemson, 23 players tested positive and at Texas another 13.

Experts have told Yahoo Sports that the NBA’s plan to end its season at Walt Disney World is also in real danger.

In the NHL, the Tampa Bay Lightning closed its practice facilities after positive tests, although the league continued its next practice phase, allowing a dozen ice skaters at once, instead of six.

But the Orlando Pride, and most of those college football teams, demonstrate how precarious it is to start thinking again about great sports in the United States. What turned our sports off in the first place is still here, lurking to attack. A single night of partying, in several cases, derailed the entire plan. Bubbles must inflate around equipment because the pandemic around them has not been addressed remotely. As such, discipline is paramount and must be absolute.

And we, well, we are not disciplined people. Nor are we exceptional in that regard.

For all the protocol-making and statements of trust and public stance, the virus is laughing at all those plans to restart our sports. And it tells us that we are not special. That we will not have a normal appearance in our sports again until we address this issue adequately and comprehensively. Just like any other person, like all non-exceptional countries.