Four leading North American professional sports leagues said on Monday that they had been briefly restricting locker room entry to gamers and”essential staff” amid the worldwide coronavirus outbreak which has influenced sporting events globally.
“Given that the problems which could be associated with close contact in pre- and – post-game configurations, all staff locker rooms, and clubhouses will be available only to players and key employees of groups and staff centers till further notice,” they stated.
“Media access will be kept in specified places beyond the locker area and clubhouse setting.
“These temporary modifications will be effective beginning with Tuesday’s practices and games.”
The National Football League, whose season ended with last month’s Super Bowl, wasn’t contained in the announcement.
Media are regular fixtures in U.S. professional sports locker rooms, in which athletes often speak with coworkers.
Concern over the current coronavirus outbreak has affected everyday life for millions of people throughout the planet and disrupted major global sporting events.
MLB officials, such as the NBA, held a conference call with its 30 franchises on Monday to discuss the new policies. The four leagues and the NFL, which has been involved in the talks but is not part of this policy since there are currently no teams practicing, are collecting information from the CDC and Canadian health officials, even when the situation changes almost in one hour. -per hour.
“We are regularly transmitting the guidance of these experts to clubs, players and staff regarding prevention, good hygiene practices and the latest travel-related recommendations,” MLB said in a statement. “We continue to monitor developments and we will adjust as necessary. While MLB recognizes the fluidity of this rapidly evolving situation, our current intention is to play spring training and regular-season games as scheduled.”
More than 113,000 people worldwide have tested positive for the disease and more than 3,900 people with the virus have died, most of them in China. More than 62,000 people have already recovered.
The virus has infected 600 people in the United States, including the director of the agency that manages airports in New York and New Jersey. At least 26 people have died, including 18 in the state of Washington.
The Association of Pro Basketball Writers responded quickly to the announcement of the leagues by saying that their membership believes that the safety of fans, players, team employees, arena workers, and the media that cover the league should be protected.
“Our thoughts are with all the people who have already been negatively affected by the virus. Therefore, we understand the NBA’s decision to temporarily close the locker room to all but the players and the essential team personnel with the promise of NBA that once the coronavirus crisis subsides, the league will restore full access to journalists covering the league. ”
Some NCAA Division III men’s basketball games last weekend were played without crowds due to concerns about the virus. At least one series of college hockey playoffs next weekend in Troy, New York, between RPI and Harvard will also be played without fans.
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