The NBA deal includes it, the MLB is attempting it, and the NFL has been advised to do it, but what is it? Playing in “the bubble” is basically not allowing players/families that are in the audience to leave the venue that the games are being played at. For example, NBA players would be required to stay at Disney World for the 3 months that are left in the season.
Does it work? Well, in theory this should be a great solution. But life is not theory and there will always be complications. Anyone involved could contract the virus. “The bubble” also requires the league to choose one city to play in. What if that city sees a sudden spike in Covid cases? The NBA is already debating on their choice of Orlando, Florida, since the recent case increases. Aside from virus talk, it’s a huge ask from a player and their family. This also means that essentially there would be no fans at games. Music can’t be played loud enough to replace the eerie sound of a huge gym with no cheering.
So, what if they don’t play in the bubble? Well, we’re seeing how that’s affecting college football now. 1/3 of multiple teams have the virus, with most in quarantine due to being in close contact with their team. Students that test positive for the virus will are believed to have immunity from it in the future, but the long-term ramifications are still in questions. Additionally, asking young people to put themselves at risk for long-term health issues — when they are not compensated — is an ethical question as well.
My Take? I think the teams should do away with the “bubble-theory” and take notes from college sports. Like I said, athletes can get it and recover, which would eliminate the need for an in-season quarantine.
I’m always open for friendly discussion so let me know what you think in the comments.
(editor’s note: this article has been edited for accuracy and clarity)