Toronto Raptors have a situation to deal with as three members of the organization have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus a week after they started their training and practice camp in Tampa, Fla.
The Raptors kick off their season in five days but their general manager Bobby Webster has refused to reveal any details about the infected members, whether they are players or support staff.
However, Webster said it is definitely a good idea to go ahead with the season when asked about whether it is worth it amidst the pandemic.
“Our season is here months after other professional sports have started … we’ve always said sports are an outlet, sports are a distraction, and I like to believe we’re providing entertainment, we’re providing things for the greater good of the public,” Webster said on a Zoom video call.
“We feel comfortable there’s not further [spread], but it’s not to say a week from now or two weeks from now or in the middle of the season when we’re on the road in Brooklyn that we’re not going to have this again. And so we’ll continue to confront those challenges. But I do think from a professional manner, basketball is our livelihood, it’s the livelihood of these players, coaches, and a number of staff, so we think following the protocols we can get through this,” he added.
The positive results for the Raptors came during the NBA-mandated testing period. Last week, the league announced that 48 players had tested positive in pre-camp testing.
Even the Portland Trail Blazers shut down their practice facility on Sunday as three members had tested positive in their organization.
Raptors head coach, Nick Nurse, had also told about how dangerous the COVID-19 could be for the team and the season.
“My role is to just constantly be on [players] and be a reminder constantly of our actions and our behaviour, and how impactful it is not only themselves, their families, our team, the organization, there’s lots on the line if you’re not doing the best you can with the COVID-19 protocols,” Nurse said.
The Raptors have confirmed that the three infected individuals are self-isolating at present. Webster, however, confirmed that the team is permitted to practice on Monday as there has been no report of further spread of the virus.