UPDATED: 8:41 A.M. ET, Feb 17, 2021 —
Keisha Lance Bottoms expresses concerns for NBA All-Star weekend coming to Atlanta amid the COVID-19 pandemic and is urging travelers to stay home and watch the event on TV.
The NBA decided for its 2020-2021 season to not return to the bubble as they did to finish last season, and so far, it has gone better than expected. Players are following strict COVID-19 guidelines and the outbreaks have been kept to a minimum. Even with the season going fairly well, COVID-wise, the NBA is now planning an All-Star weekend in Atlanta on March 7th.
Many players have already voiced how horrible of an idea they believe this is but at the end of the day, the NBA is a business with sponsors, investors, and owners to please. The issue is: even if they do not allow fans, the city the game is held in will have after-parties and the economy will try and profit from the event at every venue possible. That, in return, is going to cause COVID-19 cases to rise and ICUs to take a beating.
Keisha Lance Bottoms is finally speaking her mind on the event and urging people to keep a “must-see TV” mindset and watch and enjoy the weekend at home. Unfortunately, this is wishful thinking on the Mayor’s part, with Atlanta being one of the cities that is WIDE OPEN at the moment. However, Bottoms took to Twitter anyways, warning folks to stay at home.
“Under normal circumstances, we would be extremely grateful for the opportunity to host the NBA All-Star game, but this is not a typical year,” the Mayor tweeted. “I have shared my concerns related to public health and safety with the NBA and Atlanta Hawks. We are in agreement that this is a made-for-TV event only, and people should not travel to Atlanta to party.”
The NBA is adhering to some strict social distancing protocols for the upcoming event too. On Monday, the association revealed to teams that players would only be allowed a limited number of seats for guests and that anyone coming to the game must travel to Atlanta by private or plane. Players are required to remain in their hotels and are allowed to leave only for All-Star events at the arena.
Sounds like fun? Right?
Keisha Lance Bottoms released a full statement which YOU can read down below and if you’re in Atlanta during All-Star weekend, STAY SAFE!