Many leagues have adopted creative solutions to overcome health and safety challenges, but not only, sports icons and leagues have leveraged their platforms to address key issues related to Social Justice.
Despite the recent wave of cases COVID-19 As new differences lead to an increase in lockdowns around the world, people are still coming together for a common goal: Sports.
Major international sports leagues began successfully returning to stadiums in most parts of the world as early as last summer, as cross-sector partnerships, innovation and new safety measures made it possible to address the health and safety challenges of the pandemic and thus bring sport back onto the field. At the same time, sports organizations and athletes have played a crucial role, using their platforms to highlight issues Social Justice.
As distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine expands and fans return to stadiums, what can sport tell us about how to protect people and improve social cohesion in the coming year?
Learning from “bubbles” and the digital experience
Some sports leagues like NFL, affected by COVID-19 cases in 2020, albeit relatively low in proportion to the number of tests performed ( NFL It had about 500 confirmed positive cases in more than 800,000 tests between August and December). On the other hand, the NBA and the MLS in the United States NHL in Canada and UEFA Champions League in Europe, concluded their 2020 seasons without a single positive case of COVID-19.
This success was largely made possible thanks to the bubble’s stringent security measures and “Bio BowlLocal, which essentially isolated players from the outside world to help reduce the risk of contracting the coronavirus.
But maintaining such an environment is not economical in the long run. bubble NBA It has cost more than $150 million to maintain daily testing, treatment, quarantine, meals, security, transportation, and facility sanitation. Furthermore it, Isolation can also affect the mental health of players.
Digital experiences through technological advances and personalization are instrumental in ensuring commercial profitability and engaging consumers in a world of social hostility. For example, La Liga Provide different audiovisual effects by working with EA Sports – A Brand of Electronic Arts and others to bring the noise of responsive audiences and virtual audiences to its games. L ‘NBA Create a truly immersive experience by providing stadium-side seating for its virtual fans to watch and interact with matches in real time.
Leading positive change in society
In addition to its immediate benefits for physical health, Sports can be a means of well-beingAnd the Tolerance and a means to raise awareness and reduce cultural division. The return of sports as well as the reopening of sports facilities can improve the mental health of sports fans and athletes at risk of deteriorating mental health due to isolation. In fact, the ability of sport to help form stronger social bonds, as well as increase the self-esteem of younger generations, has long been recognized.
Sports can also play a vital role in addressing and raising awareness of major societal issues.
This has been the year of reckoning for Social Justice around the world, leading to renewed conversations about inequality and the duty of governments, businesses and other stakeholders, to unite on issues Social Justice and economic strengthening for marginalized communities.
For example, fileNBA Establishing a coalition of Social Justice, a council of players, coaches and governors, to promote civic participation, voting and reform Police and Criminal Justice. Players wore their jerseys with custom bids on Social Justice to enhance movement Black Lives Matter MovementThe teams even partnered with local election officials to turn their stadiums into polling stations, with security measures, to encourage voting during the last US presidential election.
Association, also in cooperation with National Basketball Players Association (NBPA), a foundation and has pledged $300 million in funding over the next 10 years to promote skills development, employment, and career advancement among black youth in the United States and Canada.
Sports symbols also play an important role in demonstrating exemplary behavior based on the principles of sportsmanship. from “mania” Michael Jordan From the 1990s that encouraged athletics among young basketball fans, in “false effectCreated by Mo Salah Del Liverpool This allowed a cultural acceptance ofIslam Among the supporters of the English language, athletes can promote diversity and tolerance, and reduce the phenomenon of cultural marginalization.
For example, during the COVID-19 blockade, Marcus Rashfordfootball strikerEngland, on launching a campaign to feed more than 1.5 million vulnerable children who have not been able to get free school meals due to school closures.
Finally, sport can be an excellent common denominator for addressing cultural barriers in society. The IOC is taking strides toward messages of tolerance and inclusion. Committee openedت Pride House TokyoA permanent community center for people LGBTQ + in Tokyo as part of the ongoing planning for Olympic Games Tokyo Summer Camps in July 2021.
On the same front, the Juventus and Manchester United, respectively, the most successful clubs in the Premier League and the Premier League, continue to support the reduction of cultural barriers in the workplace, in collaboration with Stonewall, a national association LGBTQ + Based in the United Kingdom, to promote a comprehensive work environment and training programs for its employees.
Will COVID-19 change the way we look at sports?
Set goals for social justice! International sporting events have played a huge role not only in economic terms, but also as a force for peace and reconciliation that allows for greater cohesion throughout the world. In the 2018 Winter OlympicsAthletes from North and South Korea marched under a unified flag, an important display of peace between nations; Both countries have fielded a unified women’s ice hockey team.
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Knowing how to harness the power of sport and recreation to enhance social cohesion must be the constant and tireless task of a society that seeks and demands justice!
Sport has a unique ability to convey important messages, promote cultural inclusion and tolerance and bring together a divided society. It is therefore expected that sport will continue to drive social reforms and increase cultural acceptance, providing a platform on which we find ourselves stronger and more cohesive in the coming year.
Excuse me. Alessandro Nomini