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The current pandemic we are experiencing has brought the world to an utter stop for almost a whole year. No one expected the year of 2020 to consist of face masks, not being able to see our friends or hugging our loved ones, missing out on going to university. It has been tough, for some more than others, but to a certain extent this has definitely affected the majority of people in the world. 

Injustice Behind It

However, the tragedy doesn’t seem to stop college football teams from going about normal life as if nothing ever happened. This is complete injustice to those essential workers that have to work hard without even being able to breathe properly while wearing a mask, meanwhile college football players are being taken care of as a priority. Even though many may argue that football Sunday’s are essential, they are not nearly as essential during a pandemic. Student-athletes have way too much privilege. Normal students have to pay full tuition and online fees, while having no in-person experience and struggling with all virtual classes, while athletes have their tuition paid for and they are being put on a pedestal (The Editorial Board, 2020). 

Students' Distress

More often than not, it is not even the student-athletes at fault, but more so the universities allowing this. The players feel pressured to perform and put themselves at risk. At UCLA, for example, a total of 30 football team players issued a letter claiming that they need health officials reassuring that their health is being prioritized and that all guidelines are being followed (Lipoff and Hussaini, 2020)

This is a devastating situation for everyone. Football players are feeling pressured to play and to make matters worse,  many regular students are missing out on the most important events of their lives. Colleges and universities are accommodating for the sake of the games continuing, yet cannot accommodate to make a socially-distanced commencement ceremony happen. Tanvi Hathiramani, a first generation graduate at Florida International University, voiced the frustration of many as she wrote an emotional petition to the university’s president, Rosenberg. She explained how she, and most students, have worked so hard for this moment and it is not prioritized over games. About 4,200 students have signed this petition, which goes to show how many people feel the same way as Hathiramani. 

The Problem

In the midst of it all, we have the individuals who are the problem. Many people at this point don’t even care about the virus, their main goal is to just get back to regular life and they are not understanding this is a process that is going to take longer than anyone wants it to. Michael Locksley, head coach of the Maryland football team, tested positive for coronavirus and when interviewed, his exact words were: “The goal is to get back” (Svrluga, 2020)

As sad as it is, the virus is here to stay and unless universities come to a full understanding of the risks college football games may bring, there will be no way out until a few years from now. 

Through the injustice, regular students and student-athletes distress, and people who continue to be part of the problem, this pandemic has genuinely brought so many changes into our worlds. The main concern as of right now should be adapting to whatever situation and guidelines must be followed and take it all in, season by season. Life is as unpredictable as it gets in the current moment, so we all need to be ready for whatever will be thrown at us next as a society. In terms of college football, it clearly increases the risks of the disease spreading and studies have shown it has. Although it is inevitable as to who does or does not get the virus, it can be controlled in the best way we can and allowing college football games to continue is not it. Our priority as a society should be to keep essential workers healthy and safe and staying home as much as we can. No game or fun activity should be prioritized and even then, if we follow guidelines to the best of our ability, we can have those activities back sooner.

This can only be done in union.

I am an FIU student pursuing two separate degrees: Journalism and Political Science, along with a Pre-Law Certificate. My passions are dancing, working out, and writing. New York City has my heart. My favorite movies are Legally Blonde, Sex and the City, and The Longest Ride. I am a huge advocate for self development, and becoming the best version of myself while inspiring others around me to do so as well.
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