As the COVID-19 outbreak spreads, sports leagues around the country and world have steadily recognized the need to suspend their seasons. The NBA was the first to do so here stateside, making the decision quickly Wednesday night after Rudy Gobert of the Jazz (and later Donovan Mitchell) tested positive for the coronavirus.
On Thursday, numerous other leagues followed suit, with the NCAA canceling all spring championships, including the NCAA men’s and women’s basketball tournaments, and MLB, NHL, MLS, and others suspending their seasons for various periods of time. The XFL was one of the last to make an official announcement, but when they did they had their details figured out. The fledgling league will end the 2020 regular season (for now) but will still pay all players and staffers their base salaries for the season — a big question mark that was surely part of the reason for the delay.
It was a difficult decision, surely, for a fledgling league still trying to get its legs under it and bring in a consistent audience to shut the doors on the season, but a necessary one. That they are taking care of the players is important, given the relatively low salaries they make and the importance of those salaries to their livelihood, and also will bring them some goodwill when they try to get going again for a 2021 season that they insist they plan on playing.