Coronavirus Update (Part Five)

Here is all the information being reported regarding Sports and the Coronavirus Pandemic

NBA

-Yesterday, the Minnesota Timberwolves announced that Karl-Anthony Towns’ mother, Jackie, passed away after a battle with COVID-19. Back on March 25th, Towns announced that his mother was in a medically-induced coma after showing Coronavirus-related symptoms. The team released the following statement regarding Jacqueline Towns:

“The Timberwolves organization is incredibly saddened to hear of the passing of Jacqueline Towns due to complications from COVID-19. In the four-plus years we were fortunate to know Jackie, she became part of our family. Her passion for life and for her family was palpable. As Karl’s number one fan, Jackie provided constant and positive energy for him and was beloved by our entire organization and staff at Target Center as she supported her son and the Timberwolves. The League, teams, and players have come together in their support of Jackie and Karl and we are grateful for our NBA family. We would like to thank all the doctors, nurses and medical personnel who cared for Jackie during her illness and all of Karl’s fans who sent their support this past month. Our deepest condolences go out to Karl and his family during this difficult time.”

MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES

A spokesperson for the family said, “The Towns family is heartbroken by the untimely passing of Jacqueline Towns due complications as a result of COVID-19. Jackie, as she was affectionately known among family and friends, had been battling the virus for more than a month when she succumbed on April 13th… The family is devastated by their tremendous loss, and respectfully requests privacy in this time of great mourning.” Jacqueline Towns was 59-years-old.

NFL

-The NFL will be testing out its virtual drafting system with a mock draft early next week according to the NFL Network. Ian Rapoport is reporting that all 32 teams will participate in a “mock draft” to test the systems that will be utilized during the actual 2020 NFL Draft. The test draft will be held before the actual NFL Draft which is set to begin on April 23rd. On April 6th, Roger Goodell sent a memo to all teams informing them that this year’s draft will proceed in a fully virtual format.

-Roger Goodell will reportedly be announcing picks from the comfort of his own home. Two days ago, Peter King tweeted that Goodell will be announcing first-round picks in the 2020 NFL Draft from the basement of his home in Westchester, NY. The draft will be broadcast on ESPN, ABC, and the NFL Network, making this the second straight year that all seven rounds of the draft will be presented on multiple networks.

MLB

-According to the Washington Nationals’ General Manager, one team employee has tested positive for Coronavirus but is on the way to getting better. GM Mike Rizzo said the individual who tested positive is not a player. The team’s medical staff has been performing daily check-ins with all staff members and players. According to Rizzo, “the employee who got the illness was at the team’s spring training facility in West Palm Beach, Florida, and now is home and his quarantine has ended. Rizzo said the employee is fever-free and symptom-free.” Rizzo did not identify the person who was sick.

NHL

-The NHL is considering finishing the season by hosting neutral-site games at venues without fans. Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said on Friday, “I’d say it’s one possibility, for sure, and it’s something that has been considered and something that has been discussed… It’s not our preferred result or outcome.” Some sites being considered include Grand Forks, North Dakota; Manchester, New Hampshire; and Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. The NHL has not yet set a deadline for a decision to cancel the season which was paused on March 12th.

XFL

-Yesterday, the XFL’s Parent Company filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy. This news comes one business day after most XFL employees were laid off and the league suspended operations. The XFL said the Coronavirus Pandemic caused this decision. In a statement, the league said, “the XFL quickly captured the hearts and imaginations of millions of people who love football. Unfortunately, as a new enterprise, we were not insulated from the harsh economic impacts and uncertainties caused by the COVID-19 crisis. Accordingly, we have filed a voluntary petition for relief under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. This is a heartbreaking time for many, including our passionate fans, players and staff, and we are thankful to them, our television partners, and the many Americans who rallied to the XFL for the love of football.” A source close to the bankruptcy filing said the league could be sold during this process.