You don’t need any COVID-19 news from this site, but what you do need is an update on where we are in the sports world. We know locker room access for reporters has been axed across the board in all the major leagues. We know we are maybe days away from games being played in the NBA, NHL, and March Madness without fans in the stands (much to LeBron’s chagrin). We know the Olympics are still on, for now….and we know the fallout of all these decisions will have major economic implications. But the real news is the effect on sportsmanship, yes you read that correctly.
Health officials all over the world are encouraging less human to human contact, including with your own face, but mostly with others. Lucky for us, someone has studied the transmission of germs (though this study was specifically bacteria, the point remains) by different handshake-type greetings to guide us through these scary times:
The result? Handshakes have been banned or discouraged in sports everywhere, but this is hard as handshakes and high fives are a big part of our culture, more specifically, the sportsmanship culture. The fallout is evident across the globe as players, coaches, and people everywhere attempt to adapt to this new way of life.
Starting right here in the city of brotherly love, 76ers Tobias Harris and Kyle O’Quinn pay homage to proper hygiene:
pandemic themed handshakes >>> https://t.co/Pos9QESu5y— Kyle Neubeck (@KyleNeubeck) March 8, 2020
The Premier League has embraced the use of elbows in a less red card-y way:
No handshakes, no problem. 😉— Squawka News (@SquawkaNews) March 7, 2020
Gini Wijnaldum and Nathan Ake improvising with the ‘elbow bump’ in the first Premier League game after pre-match handshakes were ditched due to the coronavirus. pic.twitter.com/HQPdqhRncS
I’m not certain hugging is the answer, but I respect the discipline of not shaking hands:
College basketball coaches conceding only to the fist bump:
CoronaVirus handshakes. Gotta be safe. pic.twitter.com/GGDYneezHE— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) March 6, 2020
The numbers don’t lie when it comes to spreading the virus via handshake; however, this guy also has a point…
Obviously shouldn’t make light of the situation. But banning of handshakes ahead of a full contact 90 minute sport does seem a bit pointless.— Charles Watts (@charles_watts) March 5, 2020
And let’s be honest, handshakes, high fives, and fist bumps transcend sports.
Fear not, there are some GREAT handshake alternatives currently on the market:
“In the era of Coronavirus, what should we replace the handshake with?” pic.twitter.com/quAHYI2GwU— Lori Hyrup ︽✵︽ (@LoriHyrup) March 9, 2020
This is a great idea. I’m in. https://t.co/HR4S9Oh7xs— Laura Helmuth (@laurahelmuth) March 7, 2020
Perhaps we are seeing a temporary change in pre-game greetings and postgame sportsmanship, or maybe we are in for a more permanent change. If you ask UConn women’s basketball coach if the no-handshake policy is something to consider moving forward, he wants it to be clear he is NOT a supporter:
Where do you stand on the handshake rule? You can get creative or get mad, as those seem to be the two outcomes thus far.