NFL Will Be Interested Observers In Bundesliga's Return This Weekend
The NFL “will be watching closely” when the Bundesliga returns to the pitch this weekend, as Germany’s top soccer league “will provide a potentially vital blueprint for how pro sports can return safely,” according to Bob Glauber of NEWSDAY. The Bundesliga will be the “first pro league in Europe or North America to resume play after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.” While there are some “important differences between the sports,” the league’s successful return “could be a boon to the NFL.” The start of the NFL season “still is a long way off, but if the return of soccer in Germany turns out to be a success, it will be one more step in the right direction” (NEWSDAY, 5/9). NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo noted the NFL has been in “communication and will be in communication with sports leagues around the globe.” Garafolo: “They're going to be watching (the Bundesliga) closely, and so will the NFL Players Association. Because as much as this is going to be a league decision, it's going to have to involve the players as well” (“NFL Total Access,” NFL Network, 5/12).
ALL EYES ON YOU: ESPN’s Taylor Twellman notes that there is “some real anxiety” around Bundesliga, as league officials “know all eyes around the world, not only in the soccer world but in the sports world in general,” are watching what happens when they resume play. Germany has “been very progressive and transparent with testing,” and that has given the Bundesliga the "option and the opportunity to restart.” Twellman: “The hardest thing about having the conversation (of returning to play) in the United States right now is the access to testing. No one knows that answer, and until you have that answer, I can't definitively look in this camera and say it's going to happen. I think it will because I think by the time they get there, testing is going to be readily available and the players have to take some risk” (“SportsCenter,” ESPN, 5/13).