Ohio governor Mike DeWine left little doubt that sports must go on in his state, the pandemic be damned.
As the Associated Press reports, the governor today extended the state’s 10 p.m. through 5 a.m. curfew through Jan. 2, 2021. However,
DeWine said there is a variance to the curfew for events with teams and spectators such as the MLS Cup at MAPFRE Stadium on Saturday, Monday night football games with the Browns and Bengals and the anticipated University of Cincinnati football conference title game.
“To be frank, the biggest risk from these games is not the spectators who will be at the games and who will be following the safety protocols, but from other fans who may have the urge to gather with friends to watch these games inside w/out following mask/distancing protocols,” DeWine said.
Actually, “to be frank,” what Gov. DeWine reminded the public — inside and outside Ohio — is that big-time sports are, to borrow a phrase, above the law. And spare me the flawed argument that there’s nothing to worry about because these events are taking place outside. Play the games, I can accept that. But require them to be played in time slots that are consistent with the curfew.
For the governor to hide behind “national television contracts” dictate these start times is nonsense. Especially in 2020, sports events are being postponed and rescheduled each week. The governor would have been wise to show a spine and tell the affected teams and television networks to get in line with the curfew.