The sports world went dark last month after many cases of COVID-19 spiked over the roof, leading to many sports organizations to either postpone or scrap off the tournaments.
However, most of the bodies gave their word about taking care of their game-day staff. They included the NHL, NBA, and Major League Baseball owners. The game-day workers include the people who scan tickets, pick up trash, park cars, clean bathrooms, and sell hot dogs and beer in most stadium restaurants.
These are workers who live on the edge of sustainability, and when the sports’ owners gave out their promises of taking care of their payouts, it was an announcement that was both uplifting and noble.
Most of the people acknowledged the fact that game-day workers are some of the most valuable members of any sporting community, and everyone, including sports owners, needs to have significant levels of empathy for them.
It’s now a month later after sports were shut down because of the COVID-19 pandemic affecting the entire world. Those lofty declarations from sports owners are not quite what they seemed.
Reports show that there are substantial discrepancies in how game-day workers are getting financial assistance from teams, who are yet to disclose any details of the plans they publicly hyped.
Some teams in the NBA, NHL, and MLB are working towards meeting all their game-day workers’ wages, while others are yet to provide any useful information regarding this matter.
Even if there are plans already set, and no funds are reaching game-day workers, we would urge sports owners to consider speeding up the process to have them pay the most vulnerable employees in their docket.
Matt Furshong of UNITE HERE (a union that represents over 25,000 workers in professional sports venue) thinks that the public announcement by sports owners to pay their game-day workers was just another good PR. Most of them have not met their initial commitment plans.
Matt added that the union and their members foresaw that the public announcement was going to include all people who work at the game. But that has not been the case.
Game-day workers have seen their income sources dry up because of the COVID-19 pandemic, something that was supposed to be taken care of by sports owners.
Be sure to know that they are not the only group of workers that have been affected by this pandemic. We saw more than 26 million people filing for unemployment in the USA alone on March 13 when President Trump declared a state of national emergency.
However, we believe those sports owners who are yet to start paying their game-day workers need to be reminded these are the people who are the heart and soul of the game. You will find many fans interacting with dozens of game-day workers at every sporting event.
Therefore, this implies that game-day workers are the primary team’s ambassadors who the fans have a chance of contact with, and that’s why they need to take care of them through payouts.