The back page of the New York Post says it all.
— Mike Vaccaro (@MikeVacc) March 12, 2020
It started Wednesday in Oklahoma City, when an NBA game between the Utah Jazz and the Thunder was postponed, because Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for the coronavirus. Eventually, the NBA suspended operations.
Thursday, Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer, the NHL and the NCAA followed suit.
Suddenly, sports took a backseat.
The White Zone: NASCAR and IndyCar came to their senses
Now it’s affected the world of motorsports.
Formula 1 cancelled Sunday’s Australian Grand Prix, after a McLaren crew member tested positive for the coronavirus. While they initially planned to run as planned, NASCAR and IndyCar came to their senses and postponed/canceled upcoming events.
— NASCAR (@NASCAR) March 13, 2020
2020 INDYCAR Season Update: pic.twitter.com/YkaQ5HKvfX
— NTT IndyCar Series (@IndyCar) March 13, 2020
With the sports world grinding to a halt on a level not seen since the days after 9/11, it had to be done.
Since last Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series FanShield 500 at Phoenix Raceway, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases went from 495 to 1585 (varies by source), as of this article’s publishing. That’s an increase of 219.39 percent in just five days.
One person in Mecklenburg County, N.C. (the county in which Charlotte is located) has tested positive. Furthermore, one person has tested positive for it in Indianapolis. That was reported on March 6. So it’s probably changed since then.
Yes, it’s easy to bash NASCAR and IndyCar for waiting this long, but it’s better late than never that they both came to the right course of action and postponed/canceled.
Yes, it was huge opportunity for both NASCAR and IndyCar to capitalize on the massive sports void left by the cancellation of every other sports league in the United States, especially with no NCAA Tournament this year. But again, the number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus has more than tripled in just the last five days. And it’s getting worse.
This was not a time to play with fire. We couldn’t risk the health and safety of the drivers, crew members, broadcast and media people who bring us what we see on the race track every week.
Yes, this will cause havoc with the schedule. But thankfully, that didn’t take priority over people’s lives.
That’s my view, for what it’s worth.