The role and place of Canadian teams in “American” pro sports is a quirk that doesn’t normally get much attention, save the playing of “O Canada” when one of the 12 Canadian professional franchises crosses the border to compete in the lower 48. Now, as leagues look to re-open, there’s a potential conflict looming, as Canada has banned sports events through August at the earliest. The New York Times, whose sports section has been great during the pandemic, details the implications.
While there is still much room for growth and improvement, high level women’s sports have been steadily gaining financial ground and increased visibility in recent years, especially in North America and Europe. This is good. However, many of these gains have been made on good faith investments, in the anticipation that elite women’s sport will eventually be financially viable as a stand alone produce (this is not my critique of women’s sports, but the reality of an entrenched system that yes, favors men’s sports.) The current global crisis threatens to erase many of these gains, with potentially crippling downstream effects for women’s sport worldwide. This is perhaps best highlighted in this timely report from FIFPRO, the international soccer player’s union.
There are still some non-pandemic sports things happening, as NFL fans were reminded of with the not-too-surprising return of Rob Gronkowski, who’ll be joining Tom Brady in Tampa Bay. It’s nearly impossible to question the football decision making of Bill Belichick, but this will eventually be part of a good case study on how great teams begin to unravel. But for now, it just reminds me of one my favorite sports related tweets of all time: