clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

SB Nation NBA Reacts Week 10, Part 2: Fans split on league response to coronavirus surge

Even our national survey was all about the omicron variant.

WNBA Finals - Game Three
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has generally been a popular figure among players and fans. But his handling of the coronavirus this season is leading to more mixed reviews.
Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Thank you for your responses to this week’s survey. To sign up for SB Nation NBA Reacts’ national surveys, click on the link below.

National fans split on how well the NBA is handling the current coronavirus wave

SB Nation

Fifty percent of NBA fans across all of SB Nation NBA’s sites approved of the league’s response to the coronavirus’ current wave. The other 50 percent don’t.

If you approve of the league’s response here are some reasons why you may feel that way. These aren’t necessarily my opinions:

  • 97 percent of the NBA’s players are fully vaccinated (at least one or two shots) and 65 percent are boosted. Looking at the NBA’s players as a whole (since the Wizards are honestly an example not to follow in my opinion), these are impressive numbers in and of themselves. All staff members around the players have to be vaccinated. Isn’t that the purpose of the coronavirus vaccines? Letting us live like it’s 2019 again?
  • The league has postponed games when absolutely necessary. For example, the Wizards’ game against the Nets last Tuesday was postponed due to Brooklyn’s outbreak.
  • The NBA has largely followed CDC guidelines regarding players placed in Health and Safety protocols. So they are doing their part to the American government.
  • The NBA can be an example in the United States and countries around the world that SPORTS GAMES WITH FANS CAN AND SHOULD GO ON despite these waves. Other western countries like the Netherlands especially are overreacting to omicron with their lockdowns and banning sports games with fans and it may be an overreaction. They’re an example of what NOT to do since it’s only going to hurt their economy.

If you don’t approve, here’s why you may feel that way. and these points aren’t necessarily my opinions either.

  • Perception is reality. When the league seems to be doubling down on playing games while coronavirus cases are going up and other businesses are voluntarily shutting down or cutting back on hours, there’s a disconnect there. We don’t have to have lockdowns like the Netherlands. But shouldn’t American businesses as a whole make these calls now since the government won’t, possibly due to domestic political reasons? A strong response now could pay off in goodwill later, especially if the situation worsens.
  • NBA players are generally in good health, but NBA coaches and staff are often older and not in as good health. What if someone gets seriously ill or dies? It’s a lawsuit waiting to happen.
  • And finally, let’s think about the fans who are going to games. Sure, it’s any one fan’s personal choice to go to an NBA game. But if multiple fans die after going to an NBA game and contract tracing can show that ...... isn’t that a lawsuit (whether there’s merit or not) waiting to happen as well?

There are no right or wrong answers on what to believe here, but this debate will rage on as the wave contineus.

A plurality of fans believe the games must go on, but about half also believe the NBA should stop play for at least 10 days

SB Nation

It should be no surprise that fans are split on whether games should go on or not. A plurality of 40 percent support the status quo (and NBA’s position) that the games must go on. However, a combined 50 percent are in favor of a stoppage of at least 10 days.

We will NOT have a survey next week due to the fact it’s the week between Christmas and New Year’s. The SB Nation Reacts folks need a break too, both to be with their families and also to get a respite from my constant emails on what to put in the next survey.

I’ll still have a straw poll for next week anyway for fan confidence though! Have a Merry Christmas weekend everyone!

Check out DraftKings Sportsbook, the official sportsbook partner of SB Nation. Sign up here to join Reacts’ national survey, which comes out each Monday.