The Day Sports Stood Still And The Covid-19 Impact

Karl-Anthony Towns in The Day Sports Stood Still. Courtesy of HBO.

The Day Sports Stood Still flashes back to a Wednesday night last March when every sports season effectively ended or was delayed.

There are numerous people interviewed throughout this film. Chris Paul might be the main focus but everyone here has their own story to tell. Chris Paul was on the floor when the Oklahoma City Thunder took on the Utah Jazz. This was the first NBA game to come to a premature end during the pandemic. The league would have a full stoppage soon thereafter before later figuring out how and when to restart their season. Paul had to immediately quarantine himself but later in the year, he would play a big role in restarting the NBA’s season.

The NBA, MLB, NFL, NHL, LPGA, Olympics, and soccer are all represented in this documentary. It’s a wide array but again, there are many stories to be told. I’m sure you could get even more players and executives to share their stories, too.

As a Kentucky Wildcats fan, I can’t help but feel sad for Karl-Anthony Towns. I remember following the news last year and a year later, my heart aches for Towns all over again. Towns isn’t the only person to lose a family member to Covid-19. Unfortunately, too many families have lost loved ones but this film isn’t really covering that side of things.

Fuqua doesn’t just focus on seasons ending and restarting because of the pandemic. As May 2020 came to an end, the world changed because of the George Floyd shooting. The news from Louisville would also start to grow louder with the Jefferson Square protests following Breonna Taylor’s death. Athletes made sure their voices were heard during this reckoning for racial justice. It is not lost with seeing what happened last year and how Colin Kaepernick was treated.

I’m not going to lie–this is a real quick film for one that runs an hour and a half. Still, it feels just like yesterday when the dominoes started to fall. It was with great hesitation that I made my way over to a movie theater for a press screening of My Spy. The WHO had just announced a worldwide pandemic. Was it foolish to attend? Maybe. Little did I know that the few press screenings remaining on my calendar would get canceled.

Many people probably have Zoom fatigue by now. We’re over a year into this thing but the light is just around the corner. Whether you like it or not, Zoom is almost certainly the main source of interviews on camera. We can see it in the camera setups. In the case of this film, it works. This is what audiences will have to get used to seeing until productions start getting back to normal.

The Day Sports Stood Still offers a time capsule of what took place in 2020.

DIRECTOR: Antoine Fuqua
FEATURING: Chris Paul, Donovan Mitchell, Danilo Gallinari, Karl-Anthony Towns, Mark Cuban, Adam Silver, Michele Roberts, Mookie Betts, Ryan Reaves, Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, Natasha Cloud, Michelle Wie West, Marten de Roon, Daryl Homer, Laurie Hernandez

The Day Sports Stood Still airs March 24, 2021 at 9 PM ET/PT on HBO and will be available to stream on HBO Max.

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.