A joint decision was made by a handful of major North American sports leagues on Monday that will affect the NBA and the Sacramento Kings.
The novel coronavirus outbreak has begun to affect major professional American sports, and that includes the NBA and Sacramento Kings.
In a joint statement made on Monday, the NBA, NHL, MLB, and MLS have halted media access in the locker rooms to help combat the further spread of the disease. The changes will go in to effect beginning on Tuesday.
The entirety of the statement:
After consultation with infectious disease and public health experts, and given the issues that can be associated with close contact in pre- and post-game settings, all team locker rooms and clubhouses will be open only to players and essential employees of the teams and team facilities until further notice. Media access will be maintained in designated locations outside of the locker room and clubhouse setting. These temporary changes will be effective beginning with tomorrow’s games and practices.
We will continue to closely monitor this situation and take any further steps necessary to maintain a safe and welcoming environment
This is the first major step taken by American sports leagues in the wake of the virus issue. There have been plenty of measures taken in other leagues around the world, particularly in Italy where the virus has the country in a virtual shut down.
There have also been reports this week that the NBA is preparing for an even more serious scenario in which teams would play games in front of empty arenas. The idea was immediately met with scrutiny, and LeBron James‘ quote led the way:
The Sacramento Kings are actually one of the few NBA teams that has some kind of experience with this. On March 27th 2018, the protests of the killing of Stephon Clark outside of Golden 1 Center caused thousands of people to miss the game between the Kings and the Dallas Mavericks. The arena had only about 4,000 people in it, and it was certainly a shocking environment for the players. While 4,000 is certainly different from 0, there are players on the Kings roster who have seen a similar situation to what might happen with the novel coronavirus should the issue worsen.
For more information about COVID-19, visit the CDC’s website or the website for your state’s Department of Health.