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  • Writer's pictureDeborah Guthrie

Underlying Effect of Coronavirus on Sports

Updated: Mar 28, 2021

How scheduled workers fall into an unemployment gap caused by the Coronavirus


Update on March 26: The bipartisan stimulus package includes gig workers, contractors and the self-employed. Legislators worked tirelessly on this bill. I thank them for their hard work on this and for including a large segment of population in this industry on this package. Thank you to everyone who wrote our legislative leaders about this gap in unemployment law.

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When the sports industry shut down, thousands of people quickly lost a months worth of work or more.

My husband is sitting at home during March Madness for the first time in his sports career. He lost 2 months of work directly due to the coronavirus. He will have no work until the sports industry gets back underway. He and thousands like him are hired to work sporting events. No contracts, no deals, no protection if games are canceled. They are called by salaried producers to work. They get paid per game and per event.

When an event is postponed there is hope that if it is rescheduled, your schedule with other sporting events don't cause you to lose money from the rescheduled event and you can work it. If you can't work a rescheduled game or sporting event due to scheduling conflicts, made up postponed games/events do not help you. You will lose that income and there is no reprieve for lost income.

If games and events are canceled, you will never get paid for those events that you were scheduled to work. This is normal. But we are in unprecedented times. With the Coronavirus, sports isn't being rescheduled. It's shut down.

When the Big 12 Tourney, March Madness, Women's Final Four, Opening Day, beginnjng of baseball season, NBA season including playoffs & championship were canceled; it meant my husband's income was immediately eliminated for two months.

People like him are not getting paid for any of those events they were scheduled to cover that got canceled due to the coronavirus. People who were scheduled to work any of these games and events that were canceled will not be paid by the corporations who hired them.

This is a big income loss for families everywhere; including my own.

In stark contrast, my son became unemployed from Auntie Anne's on Tuesday. On Wednesday he was able to apply for unemployment and will start collecting unemployment yet there is still nothing for the hard working people behind the scenes of sports who bring the sports to everyone's living room who lost income starting March 12.

Thank you to FOX Sports Detroit for raising this issue in an article today.

I've written to our elected officials asking for their help with state or federal funding and to not forget about the many workers unemployment does not cover during the #Covid_19 #pandemic. I will write to them again and keep writing. If your industry and your situation similarly falls into a gap; I encourage you to write to your representatives. You cannot know they know or understand the effects of this virus on you and those you know unless you tell them your story.

My family will get through this and be fine with my savings but many families will go broke. I worry for them and their families more than anything. #workersfirst

My prayers to everyone.

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