For the last three months, COVID-19 has kept the sports world on lockdown. The PGA Tour and NASCAR have restarted their respective seasons with great success thus far but the majority of the major sports organizations in the U.S. have yet to resume play. The NBA and NHL were supposed to be wrapping up their respective playoffs right about now and are working on plans to resume.
The 2020 MLS season was just getting started before the shutdown. The WNBA never got started at all. And who knows if baseball fans will see any MLB games this year given the state of the negotiations between owners and players. NFL camps are supposed to open next month but it’s still unclear whether that will happen on time.
Sports fans are looking for answers and will hopefully get some tonight on ESPN as the worldwide leader is airing a two-hour SportsCenter special, “The Return of Sports,” which will feature the commissioners of the top sports leagues addressing a variety of topics. Hosted by longtime ESPN personality Mike Greenberg, “The Return of Sports” will also feature numerous players, coaches, analysts, and medical professionals.
Which commissioners will appear on ‘The Return of Sports?”
“The Return to Sports” on ESPN will feature the commissioners of six major sporting organizations. Rob Manfred (MLB), Adam Silver (NBA), Roger Goodell (NFL), Gary Bettman (NHL), Cathy Engelbert (WNBA), and Don Garber (MLS) are all expected to appear.
Numerous players and coaches will also be featured in ‘The Return of Sports’
In addition to the six commissioners, a number of other personalities are expected to appear on “The Return of Sports” as well. Among those expected to participate are Damian Lillard of the Portland Trailblazers, Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks, Brianna Taylor of the Phoenix Mercury, Calais Campbell of the Baltimore Ravens, Alejandro Bedoya of the Philadelphia Union, and Crystal Dunn of the NC Courage.
ESPN commentator and WNBA player Chiney Ogwumike, Los Angeles Angels manager Joe Maddon, ESPN soccer analyst Taylor Twellman, and ABC News Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton will also take part.
What topics will tonight’s ESPN special cover?
While COVID-19 will certainly be a part of the discussion in “The Return of Sports,” the two-hour special will also dive into the topic of social justice reform efforts in sports in response to the tragic death of 46-year-old George Floyd. The official press release from ESPN details exactly what viewers can expect.
“Since sports came to a halt three months ago, we’ve all been eagerly awaiting their return. In this “SportsCenter Special,” fans will hear directly from commissioners, managers and athletes about the decisions they’ve made and the challenges they’ve faced throughout this unprecedented time, and what the resumption of sports will look like over the coming weeks and months.”Stephanie Druley, ESPN Executive Vice President, Event and Studio Production
“The Return of Sports” airs tonight at 9:00 p.m. Eastern on ESPN.