The Marjory Stoneman Douglas football team is highly supported by the MSD staff and students. The school promotes most games, and attendance is usually never low. That does not change the fact that the football season should be avoided and canceled.
However, this season the bleachers are empty due to COVID-19, and may not be full for a while. Currently, there are too many factors the school has to take into consideration to reach a conscious decision regarding the start of the season. With the effects and potential risks that have come with COVID-19, the idea the football season should happen is completely reckless.
Prior to the beginning of this school year, sports as a whole were on the verge of being canceled. With coronavirus cases dropping, it is a possibility that the school might review the decision to hold sports this year. Still, there is not enough evidence to say that if sports were to come back – whether or not the athletes would be at risk for catching the virus as well as if fans would be able to go to the games.
Simply put, there is not enough evidence that points towards the return of sports to be worth the risk of students and coaches catching COVID-19. Also, there is not a concrete protocol for bringing back sports, for keeping every player safe. Until there is funding put into place to protect the athletes, football coming back would not be in their best interest.
The issue is, the school is already preparing for the return of varsity and junior-varsity football, with in-person practice scheduled to begin on Monday, Sept. 21. This could signal the immediate start of a new season.
The rush to begin this season only further increases the risk, as there is no patience for examining the situation of how to handle potential positive COVID-19 cases.
Without the necessary resources and a well thought-out plan, is it reasonable to put your student-athletes at risk for infection when most other events are delayed? Furthermore, if there needs to be social distancing in school, why risk having a sport putting students in direct contact with others?
MSD should not use its love of football to make a biased decision to bring it back during this troubling time. MSD should delay the football season and ensure that the athletes are in the best conditions, without the risks of spreading the coronavirus. It may be a difficult decision, but canceling the 2020-21 football seasons is a smart choice for the school to make.