Can Positive Coronavirus Tests in Sports Be Kept Anonymous?
Admittedly, I could be looking at this issue through the wrong lens, but there seems to be quite a bit of inconsistency when it comes to COVID-19 test reporting in the sports world as America's 'Big 4' sports (MLB, NBA, NHL, NFL) are each preparing to either finish their paused seasons or start fresh ones in the coming weeks.
Some positive test results for players are immediately 'front page' news, others, well it's a secret.
Flashback to early March when Utah Jazz player Rudy Gobert tested positive. The immediate story was literally: NBA Suspends Season Indefinitely after Rudy Gobert Tests Positive (see link).
This link to CBS Sports has a long list of other NBA stars who have since tested positive for the virus. Their names are splashed all over the media.
On Friday, MLB reported the number of positive test results- 13 since camps restarted on Monday - yet hasn't released the names of any players who were positive, unless those player consent to making the information public. The league has also not disclosed the names of players who were positive before camps began or those who reported to the team already carrying the virus.
Meanwhile, New York Mets second baseman Robinson Cano hasn't been seen at training camp since Monday. Mets GM Brody Van Wagonen has confirmed Cano's absence but won't say where he is or why he's not with the team. Of course, that has led to broad speculation that Cano has been diagnosed with coronavirus.
But, if Cano had dislocated an elbow, twisted an ankle, broke a finger, torn a knee ligament, had a heart attack or stroke, was diagnosed with Chickenpox, Mononucleosis or a myriad of other health ailments, I'd be my salary Brody would be standing in front of reporters answering all their questions.
It's odd, right?
In almost every other situation involving the health status of a baseball player, there is a nearly constant discussion (in a normal year, anyway) about how any given circumstance related to that issue will impact the player's role with the team going forward.
How many times have you been watching a game and heard the broadcast team report: ''So-and-so was scratched from tonight's lineup after suffering from flu-like symptoms.''
The reporting of player health, as it relates to their ability to play the sport, or their absence from the team, is rampant.
Obviously, how the leagues and the media handle reporting of COVID-19 cases is in its infancy compared to their other ailments I mentioned above. And, we clearly handle the private information of athletes very differently than the way we handle things for 'Joe Public', but I wonder if the 'secrecy' surrounding coronavirus cases will fade over the coming months.
Even if it doesn't, I think it will be pretty obvious when a star players in a given sport is suddenly 'absent' for 2-3 weeks, and no one will say where they are or why they aren't with the team.
Not to mention, anytime someone does test positive, every person and place they've been contact with for several days prior is then notified. In pro sports, any effort to keep positive COVID-19 test secret will be futile.