Tonight’s SportsCenter special to cover return of sports

This should be worth watching: Tonight’s ESPN SportsCenter two-hour special will cover the return of sports in the time of the coronavirus pandemic, with MLS’s Don Garber set to join other sports-league leaders in the discussion.

MLS has chosen to resume play in a closed-tournament setting at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports complex in Florida’s Disney World. No fans will be allowed to watch play, players will be sequestered at a hotel in the Disney World complex, and testing and health monitoring will be regularly administrated. You can find the full details here.

The MLS plan is roughly the same as the NBA and WNBA plans that called for all teams competing at a central sports complex but different than the MLB and USL Championship plans to bring competition back in home facilities.

Joining Garber tonight on SportsCenter Special: The Return of Sports will be Gary Bettman (NHL), Cathy Engelbert (WNBA), Roger Goodell (NFL), Rob Manfred (MLB) and Adam Silver (NBA). Host Mike Greenberg will speak with each league commissioner about his/her sport and the approach to return. Topics will include the health and safety of players and workers, the economic impact and plans going forward, games without fans and potential broadcast innovations, the consequences and legacy of “asterisk seasons,” and the potential long-term impact of COVID-19. It begins at 9 p.m. ET.

In addition, the ESPN special will discuss social justice reform efforts among leagues, teams and players that have come to the forefront following the death of George Floyd and with worldwide demonstrations calling for justice, equality and the condemnation of racism.

“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,” said Stephanie Druley, ESPN Executive Vice President, Event and Studio Production, in a press statement.

Other voices expected to be part of The Return of Sports discussions include ABC News Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton, athletes Calais Campbell (NFL/Baltimore Ravens – the 2019 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year), Damian Lillard (NBA/ Portland Trailblazers), Patrick Kane (NHL/Chicago Blackhawks), Crystal Dunn (NWSL/NC Courage), Brianna Turner (WNBA/Phoenix Mercury) and Alejandro Bedoya (MLS/Philadelphia Union), Los Angeles Angels manager Joe Maddon, ESPN commentator and WNBA player Chiney Ogwumike, and ESPN soccer analyst Taylor Twellman.

Photo courtesy Inter Miami FC.

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