Mouse traps, bed bugs and COVID-19 cases aren’t stopping some sport returns
Your coronavirus news for the week
The return to sports hasn't exactly been a hole in one.
Due to COVID-19, sports have had to make dramatic changes in order to ensure the safety of their athletes, which haven’t been without speed bumps.
Earlier this week, professional women’s basketball players reported to training camp in Bradenton, Fla as they work toward a 22-game season restart at the end of the month.
When they arrived, some things about their temporary housing were … a little off.
Like other sports, the WNBA’s teams are all ‘bubbling’ in an isolated community with one another as they train and eventually play in order to keep athletes safe from COVID-19. (Image credit: Johannes Eisele/Getty Images)
It wasn’t long before photos started to surface online.
One showed an active mouse trap in the hotel laundry room.
Another showed a worm on the floor of a hotel room.
And even the meals looked questionable, with users on Twitter comparing them to what NBA players are eating at their own training camp.
If that wasn’t bad enough, Deadspin reported Tuesday that two teams needed to change rooms because of an infestation of bed bugs, quoting a source saying the league is "working to fix some issues."
Bleacher Report reported Tuesday that a survey was sent to WNBA players in housing, and that officials were working to address the problems.
NBA players, on the other hand — who are bubbling at the Disney campus in Orlando, Fla., to train before their season starts on July 30 — are looking a little more comfortable.
Orlando Magic player Evan Fournier posted an Instagram story earlier this week to give his fans a glimpse into his room at the Grand Floridian which includes a lakeside view.
Evan Fournier posted an Instagram story to show off his new lakeside view. (evanfournier10/Instagram)
Soccer is looking messy, too
Like the NBA, Major League Soccer players have been bubbled at Disney World as they trained for a 26-team tournament that began Wednesday.
However, the MLS Is Back tournament is already off to a rocky start.
FC Dallas was removed from the tournament earlier this week after ten of its players and one of its coaches tested positive for COVID-19.
Along with team drop outs, the league’s reigning MVP Carlos Vela of Los Angeles FC withdrew from the Disney World tournament over COVID-19 concerns (Image credit: Leopoldo Smith/Getty Images)
One of the tournament’s opening games, FC Nashville v.s. FC Chicago, was also postponed after five of Nashville’s players tested positive.
The league is currently deciding whether or not Nashville will be allowed to stay in the tournament.
Other scheduling issues have come up as well. Toronto FC’s opening match against DC United was pushed from Friday to Sunday due to COVID-19 testing delays.
Despite the hiccups, MLS hopes to resume its regular season after the special tournament. It was halted in mid-March after each team had played only two matches.
Is hockey getting icy, or dicey?
Earlier this week, the NHL and its players’ union came to a tentative agreement on a return to play plan.
If the proposal is green lit, players will begin training camps in their home cities come July 13, and will move to ‘hub’ cities — where they will live and play games — starting July 26. (Image credit: Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
There are a lot of details on the NHL’s reopening, so here are the most important highlights:
- The season is set to start August 1.
- As of now, Edmonton and Toronto are possible hub cities.
- Players will have a minimum 4-day quarantine once they arrive.
- There will be no fans in arenas during games.
- Players won’t be required to wear masks on the ice.
- Players will, however, have to wear masks if they go outside their hotel rooms.
- If all goes well, the league hopes to award the Stanley Cup in the fall.
Despite the restart plan, many players have tested positive for COVID-19.
Of the 396 NHLers tested in their home cities between June 8 and July 6 during voluntary training, 23 players tested positive.
An additional 12 players who didn’t take part in the voluntary training also tested positive.
In the event that there's a "risk to player health and safety" or an “uncontrolled outbreak,” the NHL said they have the ability to delay, postpone, move or cancel games.
Want to compare how Canada is doing? Check out Canada’s Curve every week to see how COVID-19 is affecting Canadians over time.
As always, the goal is to keep that line flat, and for it eventually to go down . Read this to find out more.
With files from Joshua Clipperton/The Canadian Press, Field Level Media, Jesse Campigotto/CBC Sports
TOP IMAGE CREDIT: (Michael Reaves/Getty Images, Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)