Atlanta Hawks star Trae Young is already playing basketball again, for some reason.
While the murder of George Floyd and ensuing Black Lives Matter protests have rightfully taken center stage at a critical juncture in our nation’s history, we’ve also still got the coronavirus pandemic to contend with as well.
However, that wasn’t enough to stop Young from playing in the Skinz League in Oklahoma Wednesday night:
While it felt like this could be footage from last summer or a different time, multiple sources on Twitter confirmed it was in fact this Wednesday night:
Is it fun having Trae Young highlights in our lives again? Absolutely. But are we also more than a little concerned he’s already playing basketball without a COVID-19 vaccine available yet? You betcha.
Trae Young, wyd?
In Ice Trae’s defense, the state of Oklahoma has already opened back up, entering Phase 3 of its “Open Up and Recover Safely” plan, which allows businesses to resume unrestricted staffing at their work sites. He’s not breaking the law or anything like that. However, the state’s plan for Phase 3 comes with the requirement that businesses are observing proper CDC-recommended protocols for social distancing.
It’s hard to do that in any place of business, but it’s unequivocally impossible to do so in a 5-on-5 contact sport like basketball. Young’s Hawks won’t be joining the rest of the league in the Orlando bubble that will bring 22 teams along for the conclusion of the season, so he’s not putting anyone there at risk. But this still feels too soon, even for a state with a relatively low number of COVID-19 cases to this point.
Young was recently seen lending his support at a Black Lives Matter protest, and while these peaceful demonstrations are vital at such an important moment in American history, most everyone at these events is wearing a mask to minimize the damage of not being able to keep six feet apart.
You can’t play basketball in a mask, nor can you socially distance in this sport. The impatience to return to playing basketball is understandable — Lord knows we all miss watching the NBA, so we can only imagine how it feels to be a player stuck at home for three months — but it feels awfully soon for these types of summer league games where hardly anyone in the stands is even wearing a mask.