The suspension of sports in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic has had a serious impact on a ton of different industries, jobs, and forms of revenue for those who work at venues, sell merchandise, provide media coverage for the topic, not to mention the actual teams and athletes themselves.
The return of Premier League action has a lot of soccer fans very excited, but also nervous. Will the game be the same? Deandre Yedlin thinks so.
The Newcastle United player was excited to get back into action.
Professional football (you know, the other football if you grew up on the pigskin variety), has been on break since March when the coronavirus outbreak turned into a global pandemic that had everyone freaking out and implementing strict safety guidelines like heightened cleanliness, social distancing, self-isolation, and mask-wearing.
This meant that a lot of large group activities, including live viewings of organized sporting events, for the most part, were completely canceled. The NBA, MLB, NHL, and pretty much every major sporting organization suspended operations. The WWE and UFC managed to keep things going for the most part, and there are some boxing promotions staging fights — but they are losing out on tons of money for live gates, sticking to only televised cash revenue.
Allan Saint-Maximin takes a knee and raises his fist after scoring his first ever home Premier League goal for Newcastle United pic.twitter.com/UUfHOlNDbf— Football Fans Tribe 🇳🇬 ⚽ (@FansTribeHQ) June 21, 2020
And although Deandre admitted there was an enormous amount of pressure resting on him and the other players' shoulders to be one of the first soccer games "back" after the coronavirus, he didn't think that it would ultimately change the nature of the game once everyone on the field gets into the swing of things.
"The whole squad's feeling good — everybody's ready to get back out there," the U.S. defender said.
"It's been a long time away so it'll be interesting, because we haven't had a ton of time to prepare, but you just make the best out of the circumstances. So everybody's ready, everybody's excited.
"Honestly, I don't really know what to expect - obviously we haven't done this before - but at the end of the day it's the same as any other game day as far as trying to go out and get three points. That's the focus," he continued.
Newcastle United 1-0 Sheffield United— Günce. ☘ (@siinpalabras) June 21, 2020
55' Saint-Maximin pic.twitter.com/ufjhfAQto1
He also admitted that the top of the game will have a "bit of distraction at first, just because it's kind of a new feeling with nobody in the stadium," but that's about it.
Newcastle United FC, like all teams in the Premier League, have shown their support for the Black Lives Matter movement, and uploaded a video of every member of the team taking a knee before a training session.
Yedlin, himself, has staunchly opposed racism. The 26-year-old has said, "It's something that I think unfortunately has become a bit normal so sometimes when you experience racism you don't think anything of it, just because it sort of becomes a part of every day life, and normal, which is quite sad."
He also said that it's difficult for anyone who isn't Black and American to truly sympathize, "I don't think anybody who is not an African American can understand what it's like to be in an African American's shoes in America, I don't think they can fully understand, but you can be willing to understand and just have your ears open and be willing to listen and see if you can do anything to help make a change."
Deandre Yedlin overcame a hand injury.
Earlier in the year, he walked out of a 0-3 loss to Leicester City, a game that saw a staggering number of injuries for Newcastle United's players in a span of only 15 minutes. It was a bizarre, almost comically tragic turn of events for the club.
#NUFC boss Steve Bruce has spoken to the press after today's defeat.— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) January 1, 2020
"We've lost four players in 15 minutes. It could have been five because we think [DeAndre] Yedlin has broken his hand. In all the years I've been involved I don't think I've known a 15 minutes like that." pic.twitter.com/fJO6Qp8NnH
His broken hand seems to be fully recovered and the game turned out just like Deandre said, and hoped, it would. They managed to get three goals against Sheffield, shutting out their rivals with a triumphant return to Premier League action.