As the Omicron variant of COVID-19 continues to spread across the globe, professional sports — both in the United States and in other countries — are experiencing dramatic disruptions.
Between Monday and Tuesday of this week, the NFL saw 75 players — or 4 percent of all players — test positive for COVID-19. The Cleveland Browns alone have placed 14 players on the COVID list, including star quarterback Baker Mayfield.
The NFL’s COVID policy is seemingly meant to punish teams with unvaccinated players. Per the NFL:
"If a game cannot be rescheduled within the current 18-week schedule and is canceled due to a Covid outbreak among non-vaccinated players on one of the competing teams, the club with the outbreak will forfeit the contest and will be deemed to have played 16 games for purposes of draft, waiver priority, etc. For the purposes of playoff seeding, the forfeiting team will be credited with a loss and the other team will be credited with a win."
The NBA is also seeing an increase in cases. ESPN reports that a total of 60 players have entered health and safety protocols already this season, including 43 in the past two weeks. As a result, the NBA and the NBA Players Association are working increase testing.
The NBA reports that 97 percent of its players are vaccinated.
Across the pond, England is cautioning soccer fans from attending games. Dr. Nikki Kanani, England’s medical director of primary care, has advised people stay away from gathering at sports venues for games.
Kanani said people should be visiting England’s massive soccer stadiums to get vaccinated.
“If you are going to go to a stadium at the weekend, make sure it's one where you can get your vaccine or help out to give a vaccine rather than go to watch a match,” Kanani said during a press conference, according to The Athletic.