Sports favored during COVID

Sean Anderson, Business Manager

With COVID putting a damper on sports across the country, from high school to professional, the hierarchy of importance begins to shine through. 

Sports seasons look different this year. Some are cancelled, and some have extensive restrictions, but not all sports are created equal. Here at Manhattan High we offer six fall sports, all of which were affected due to COVID, but how each were affected varies. 

According to the Kansas State High School Activities Association, spectator restrictions are determined by the level of risk each sport poses. However, this is not the case. In cross country, a sport deemed low risk by KSHSAA, meets are held outside where spectators can be socially distant. The Riley County Health Department has also said spectators at cross country events are safe, but MHS administration refuses to allow any spectators. 

However, large sports like football retain the spotlight. MHS administration allows 1,000 spectators at football games, which is absurd considering that they all must pack themselves into the stands where they’re in close proximity to each other for an extended period of time. Not to mention the players who are constantly within six feet without masks.

The same holds true for other sports like volleyball, which has allowed spectators from the home team and now, due to complaints by the players, MHS administration is making adjustments to allow additional spectators per athlete. How is it safe to cram all of these athletes and spectators into a gym for hours, when outdoor sports are significantly limited? 

And tennis, which is also an outdoor sport has allowed spectators at all but one meet this year. 

Not only do these biases show at our school, but they extend all the way to the pro level. Just this weekend both Nike and Footlocker national cross country championships were cancelled, along with the NCAA cancelling all cross country championships in August. I have yet to see college football or the NFL take a hit. 

The unfairness of this situation shouldn’t go unnoticed; there needs to be change. MHS administration needs to rethink the restrictions they’ve put on sports and give equal restrictions to all.