Beyond the Stadium

What Plays Out Beyond the Game

Out Sick: How Will the Swine Flu Impact Pro Sports?

With President Obama’s declaration of swine flu as a national emergency, anxiety about H1N1 has only escalated. People are lining up to get the vaccine, and shortages are not helping the problem.  As the disease spreads across the world, how will the sports world be impacted?

It would appear that sporting events this winter are prime locations for H1N1 to spread. Large groups of people, many of them young, are packed together in an enclosed space during peak flu season. Athletes, who are so often seen as invulnerable to world events, are also coming down with flu-like symptoms left and right.

In response to the pandemic, Paris has already cancelled one soccer match. Teams are being forced to cancel practices and are playing games shorthanded. The NFL has already begun addressing the issue by allowing relief to flu-stricken teams.

Clearly, the sports world is not ignorant to the threat of H1N1. However, as we wade further into to flu season, how prudent will it be to host large sporting events? France’s cancellation may only be the beginning–cancelled games could spread as fast as H1N1 itself.

Despite lost revenue and disappointed fans, taking the safe side is definitely the smarter course of action. Until vaccination production can fully meet demands, teams should consider how important their games really are.

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October 25, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment