Athletes shouldn’t take precedence

At a time when the Trump administration is measurably failing the American public when it comes to the availability to get a COVID test and the long turnaround time to receive the test results, I was appalled to learn that the NCAA issued the following policy statement:

“All college athletes competing in so-called high-contact risk sports, such as football, basketball, hockey and lacrosse should be tested 72 hours before a game.”

On the surface that policy sounds reasonable and commendable. If college athletics are going to happen this fall, then precautions must be undertaken to protect these students.

However, I contend that before administering the policy and COVID tests that colleges and universities and leagues should rethink the decision to conduct fall athletic contests.

Every week there are tens of thousands of athletes who are competing and would need those tests. At the same time, there are long lines of citizens waiting to get those virus tests and waiting for up to 19 days, in some states, to get these life-or-death results.

Administering COVID tests to thousands of athletes is taking away from all citizens desperately needing the tests. Where are our priorities?

Let me conclude by saying I am a father and grandfather who has had children involved in sports. I love going to their games, and I support athletics 100%.

However, the overwhelming consideration is that the pandemic has forced us into a new “normal.”

Hopefully it can revert back. Until then, changes need to be made to affect the greatest good. Trump needs to lead and formulate a plan to solve this horrific pandemic, and it could start with addressing the testing.

William J. Padamonsky Sr.



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