The importance of sports returning
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - The return of live sporting events is giving people across the county a small taste of what they’ve been craving for so long, a sense of normalcy. The MLB finally held its opening day, the WNBA has tipped off its season and the NBA will begin its restart on July 30.
Whenever the United States has had to deal with tragedy or push through adversity, sports have always been there to lift up the spirits of the county.
Western Kentucky’s Director of Athletics, Todd Stewart, experienced this first-hand on multiple occasions. Stewart was working with the Cleveland Browns when the NFL came back just one week after the events of September 11.
Stewart said there were some people that felt the league came back to soon. However, upon the NFL’s return, a big step was taken in the healing process.
“Obviously the entire country was affected by that,” Stewart said. “But what I saw was, when everybody came back and played, how uplifting that was. That just made people feel good and it kind of gave a sense of hey we’re back and some sense of normalcy is returning.”
In 2005, Stewart was working for the Sunbelt Conference in New Orleans when Hurricane Katrina hit. There was talk that the universities and schools impacted by the hurricane shouldn’t play sports. But once again, sports came through.
“They did play sports and they did come back,” Stewart said. “That was a very inspiring thing for the people in that area. It gave them confidence that hey we’re on the rebound, we’re coming back.”
Stewart said he believes professional, college, and high sports can be very uplifting and an indicator that the country is on the comeback trail in returning to normal.
Fall sports at the college and high school level are still riding a wave of uncertainty, leaving us with our fingers crossed that the current sports comeback will be completed and athletes can safely return to playing the games that they love.
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