Players Tested Before the Public

by Rahdin Salehian

Should testing NBA players for COVID-19 be necessary when the general public is still waiting?

Google Images

Entire NBA teams and team staff are being tested for the novel coronavirus while thousands of others are still waiting for tests to arrive. These tests confirm that players have gotten the virus but also take away from the people whose lives are direr. Coronavirus testing is becoming more important as this virus begins to affect more people across the world.

In mid-March, news broke that the Utah Jazz’s all-star center, Rudy Gobert, had tested positive for the novel coronavirus. This diagnosis came just five days after the Utah Jazz played the Boston Celtics at TD Garden and, ironically, days after Gobert attempted to prove he was not afraid of the deadly disease by touching all of the microphones after a press conference. Ever since Gobert tested positive, other NBA stars have as well. Some of those stars included teammate Donovan Mitchell, Detroit Piston Christian Wood, Boston Celtic Marcus Smart, the Brooklyn Net Kevin Durant, 3 other unnamed players from the Nets, and 2 unnamed players from the Los Angeles Lakers.

The media knew that these players contracted the virus because their whole teams have been tested for the virus. This is a result of possible exposure to the virus after playing against a team with a player who had COVID-19. Thousands of people are knowingly exposed to the virus, but they are not able to get a test due to the lack of supply; however, entire NBA teams are being tested due to the possibility of being exposed. With a scarce number of tests, why are NBA players being tested? One reason could be to spread awareness of the virus. The NBA has relatively young players and a young fanbase. It is a common misconception that young people cannot contract the virus. However, NBA players getting tested sends the message that anybody can get the virus regardless of age.

The majority of NBA players are being tested for COVID-19 regardless of symptoms while there are people who are showing symptoms that are struggling to get a test. Although many people in critical conditions are waiting for tests, tests are being used on young, healthy, and fit players instead of much older people whose lives are at risk. Similar actions should be taken for the general public, especially those who are at a higher risk. It is wrong for NBA players to test their players for COVID-19 when the general public is waiting. People should all have the same available resources regardless of their profession.