Gov. Wolf OKs NASCAR for 'yellow' phase, so what about other sports?

NASCAR Cup Series driver Denny Hamlin (11) celebrates after winning the Gander RV 400 at Pocono Raceway.
Photo credit Matthew O'Haren/USA TODAY Sports
By KYW Newsradio 1060
PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — NASCAR is back with several events happening in Southern states over the next few weeks. Asked Monday if a race scheduled for the Poconos in late June could take place, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf gave a tepid thumbs-up.

“If Monroe County goes to yellow before that race happens and NASCAR, in fact, has the competition without spectators in the stands and they follow other guidelines to keep the competitors safe, yeah.”

On Tuesday, Wolf answered a follow-up question: He and Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine have said before that organized sports would still not be permitted in counties in the yellow phase of his red-yellow-green plan. Why the apparent hypocrisy?

“Yeah, I’m not sure,” Wolf said. “We’re working with lots of organizations — the NHL, the NFL, Major League Baseball — to figure out how, when sports start again, they can do it safely.

“And I know in terms of NASCAR and these others, they’re looking at playing, competing, in front of empty stands. They’re doing all kinds of things to make sure that their competitors are safe, they have safe accommodations for housing, that when they eat, that’s done in a safe fashion, that they’re practicing social distancing, wearing masks — all those kinds of things. And so that’s what we’re looking at.”

The governor said the guidance is focused on keeping people safe. 

“How do we make sure that we reduce, to the extent possible, the possibilities that this virus is gonna spread, and at the same time, get us back to some normalcy as quickly and efficiently and effectively as we can?”

And if he is not confident that people will be safe, he said, his administration will have a problem with opening back up.

While Wolf has only presented a road ahead for NASCAR, other governors such as New York’s Andrew Cuomo and Texas’ Greg Abbot earlier this week welcomed the possibility of professional sports returning on a much broader scale.

What professional sports leagues need are finalized plans for getting back to business. As of Wednesday morning, nothing is yet set in stone. So the wait continues for baseball, basketball and hockey to restart their engines, as NASCAR has already done.