Alexander Raphael Neild Discusses How the Pandemic is Impacting Basketball

Alexander Raphael Neild

December 23, 2020

Alexander Raphael Neild

The COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped the world. Global travel has shut down, countless regions have gone through lock downs, and non-essential industries have, at times, been forced to halt operations. Basketball has become a sort of bell weather for COVID-19, illustrating how the pandemic impacts industries, and what the future might hold. Alexander Raphael Neild points out that basketball was one of the first major sports shutdown by COVID-19 in the United States.

“One of the biggest initial COVID-19 shutdowns was with the NBA basketball season and the college basketball tournament,” Alexander Raphael Neild points out. “The NBA eventually held their playoffs and the Los Angeles Lakers won. March Madness never took place.”

This was a big signal of just how serious COVID-19 was and is. ESPN reports that revenue for the NBA ultimately dropped by about $8.3 billion dollars during the 2019-20 season, with much of this attributed to COVID-19. Newsweek reports that the NCAA and college teams stood to lose over $900 million in revenue because the NCAA Men’s basketball tournament was canceled.

“The huge revenue losses,” Alexander Raphael Neild says, “were a telltale sign of how serious the pandemic was. The sports industry as a whole likely lost billions, but they were willing to set aside that money because the pandemic was such a threat and risk.”

Alexander Raphael Neild Discusses Lessons Learned from Basketball and COVID-19

It’s not all losses when it comes to sports and COVID-19. Alexander Raphael Neild also believes we can learn a lot about how to fight pandemics both now and in the future by studying the sports industry and its response.

“The NBA helped show how you can cope with COVID-19,” Alexander Raphael Neild argues. “Their bubble for the playoffs kept teams safe, halted the spread of the virus among players, allowing the teams to compete.”

It’s not just pro athletes who are showing us the way forward, Alexander Raphael Neild points out. College basketball has enjoyed a relatively successful start to the 2020-21 season and while challenges remain, we can learn from them.

“College play has resumed, but teams continue to cancel games because of the virus,” Alexander Raphael Neild says. “Even with lots of safety precautions, shutdowns will likely remain common. Still, with the right precautions in place, we can still engage in many activities.”

Thankfully, COVID-19 vaccines are nearly ready for mass distribution. If vaccinations can be rolled out globally, it may finally arrest the COVID-19 pandemic once and for all. Alexander Raphael Neild suggests watching pro athletes to get an idea of how quickly distribution is happening.

“It’ll be interesting to see how vaccine distribution plays out,” Alexander Raphael Neild says. “I expect frontline workers and vulnerable populations to get doses first. However, I think athletes will come quickly after that.”