Its been almost a year since the Covid-19 pandemic took a hold of our way of life and with recent reports of wide-spread cases increasing daily, the rising concerns within commercial enterprises particularly in sports have been circulating mainstream media like a tidal wave. With countless restrictions implemented in the leagues, many teams have been hit with involuntary delays due to positive testing among players leaving administrators with uncertainties of its risk factors.
WNBA’s own 2005 former Champion, 2008 Gold Olympic medalist, ESPN analyst, and head coach of the Duke Blue Devils women’s basketball team Kara Lawson has been the latest target on her decision to terminate their remaining season due to Corona concerns luring her into the nation’s hot seat raising controversy as this being Lawson’s first year as head coach.
Since the Blue Devils December 9th loss against the Louisville Cardinals, the squad has been on complete shutdown. “I don’t think we should be playing right now. That’s my opinion on it” stated Lawson. The teams’ following match-ups between the Miami Hurricanes, NC State, and Wilmington Seahawks were all postponed amid reports of these adversaries testing positive for Covid.
“The student-athletes on the Duke women’s basketball team have made the difficult decision to conclude their current season due to safety concerns. We support their decision, as we have supported the choices made by all student-athletes at Duke during this unprecedented time” cited Duke’s Vice President for Public Affairs and Government Relations and Chief Communications Officer.
Lawson’s career as upstanding as her beliefs. Alumni of Tennesse University, she was the protege of icon Pat Summitt, thirty-eight-year veteran head coach of Tennesse’s women’s basketball program who paved the way for women to become more prominently recognized and respected within the basketball community. She was a pioneer in helping set precedents of equality for women before losing her battle to Alzheimer’s in 2016 and as a result, helped position Lawson to evolve succeeding in her endeavors.
Now following the footsteps of her mentor, Lawson is not only facing those same challenges, she is facing them during a time where the pressures of the pandemic are causing our society to make judgment calls based on the well-being of others.
Aside from the obvious teachings, a head coach requires a fearless yet righteous spirit while needing to be humane. Although Kara Lawson is being criticized for making what some might consider a “ballsy” choice, she was courageous enough to think about the safety of her players and the broader spectrum.
It’s an admirable decision that poses the thought will other coaches follow suit? Only time will tell but for Mrs. Lawson, she’s proven that her past guidance and democratic nature have molded her into the benevolent woman she is.