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Sports Are Playing a Key Role During COVID-19 – Even Without Games

Although many people recognize the pivotal role of sports in catalyzing social change — including race, gender, and sexuality — sports organizations have also stepped up to reduce their environmental footprints and give back to their fans. Despite the coronavirus pandemic causing a complete global sports shutdown, organizations have shown great leadership through their responses.

The role of the “green sports” movement over the past decade has focused on responsible waste management, investments in clean energy infrastructure, providing low-carbon transportation options for fans, and demonstrating commitments through third-party certifications like LEED. Responsibility in the age of COVID-19 has adopted a new approach under three key pillars:

1. Leadership

Many of us started to understand the severity of this pandemic when the NBA decided to cancel its season, creating a ripple effect across our society that ultimately protected countless human lives. Shortly after, MLB and its employees joined a vast study around coronavirus antibody testing, providing key insights for scientists. 

2. Leveraging resources

From the Seattle Mariners to the Atlanta Falcons, stadiums are hosting blood drives and providing drive-through testing sites. Organizations such as the New York Road Runners are leveraging their supply chains to distribute unused food to local community groups.

3. Innovation

Teams are partnering with innovative brands to produce necessary resources, such as turning unused uniforms into protective masks to increase PPE availability.

Understanding the role of sports in our communities is becoming more apparent than ever. Outside of our enjoyment, the sports industry is playing a critical role during this difficult time by leveraging its powerful brands, physical assets, and global reach to impact lives and provide hope. And hope is exactly what we need right now.

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