"Forgive me for being macabre, but I think the only thing that would stop them is nothing short of a player death," says Will Leitch. "Coaches and support staff and those surrounding the game are older than the athletes, and therefore at higher risk. Therefore, one could imagine that leagues (and even many fans) would be able to disassociate themselves from something terrible happening to one of them — expressing remorse and sadness, but not responsibility...But if a player dies? The whole thing would go up in smoke, and probably not just in the short term. An athlete death would be a stain on these leagues forever. Again: The odds are against it. But all it takes is one. It’s not as if some players aren’t at least somewhat immunocompromised: NBA MVP James Harden has asthma, for example, and MLB All-Stars Carlos Carrasco and Kenley Jansen have both undergone heart procedures. They would likely be okay, even if they contracted the disease. Almost all players would be. But again: All it takes is one. If one player were to succumb to this virus that has already killed nearly 500,000 people worldwide, the whole calculus for the entire return of sports would collapse. It wouldn’t be seen as something that could unite us, or distract us, or provide solace during an uncertain time. It would just be seen as a cash grab for executives sitting in luxury suites, viewing from a safe distance as a player they rushed back to the field lost their life. This is unlikely to happen. The entire sports-industrial complex is assuming it’s not going to happen. But it could. . If you’re wondering why sports is forging forward despite positive tests, it’s because the people who run sports do not think the virus is going to kill any of its players. Let us all pray that they are right."