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Why Ex-NFL Player Thinks Leagues Should Be Conservative About COVID-19

COVID-19 has taken a toll on multiple leagues since March 2020.

Major League Baseball, the NFL and the NBA have had their own struggles with the virus since resuming play. That said, no league has had to pause its season — at least, not yet.

The NBA’s situation has become increasingly concerning in the last few days. Sunday’s Celtics-Heat game in Boston was postponed after a Miami player tested positive for the virus and contact tracing left the team without enough players to compete. It is the second time the NBA has postponed a game this season due to COVID-19.

The Philadelphia 76ers are dealing with COVID-19 issues of their own after Seth Curry received his positive test results in the first quarter of Thursday’s game against the Brooklyn Nets. Joel Embiid, who sat next to Curry on the bench that night, opted to enter quarantine as well. The Sixers played Saturday’s game against the Denver Nuggets with just eight players.

Ex-NFL safety-turned-doctor Myron Rolle weighed in on the NBA’s growing COVID-19 problems Sunday on NBC Sports Boston. And he thinks leagues like the NBA should be stricter when it comes to close contacts.

“I’m on the more conservative trend on this,” Rolle said. “We know that this virus can transmit through droplet, airborne, contact — there’s multiple modes of transmission, right? So the more you’re around someone, the more you’re near them in sort of close contact whether you’re playing or whether you’re sitting next to them at a team meeting or on a bus or in some sort of transport. That counts. And to be more conservative, in my opinion, is the safest bet, and what you ought to do.”

If a staff member at Rolle’s hospital is positive with COVID-19 and they somehow have contact with a patient, no matter how brief or if they’re prepared to leave, that patient must remain there for the next 10 to 14 days to properly quarantine. He hopes leagues operate in a similar fashion.

“We’re taking it very conservatively and we have all the resources to take care of these patients. So the NBA, the NFL, other organized sports, they should be very, very conservative when dealing with this virus because we don’t know enough about it yet to fully protect each other in an environment where we just have people going in and out of a stadium, an arena (and) going in and out of cities. We just don’t really know enough about it yet to really have full control over it, and you’re seeing it play out in the NBA with cancelations and postponements.”

The NBA currently does not plan to pause its season and reportedly will adopt additional COVID-19 protocols accordingly. But if the league wants the season to run as scheduled, they might want to consider Rolle’s advice.

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