Major U.S. professional sports like the NBA and MLB have returned (the NFL is getting started on it 2020 season), but not everyone will play over concerns of the coronavirus pandemic.
The six-time All Star catcher with the San Francisco Giants opted out of the 2020 season after he and his wife planned to adopt two identical twin girls who were, a journalist for The Athletic
David Price, a pitcher formerly for the Boston Red Sox who this season was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers, opted out of the season on July 4
out of the interest of the his health and his family's.
Ian Desmond, an outfielder for the Colorado Rockies, opted out
in part because of his pregnant wife and four young children. It was reported
that he'd be sacrificing $5.55 million in pro-rated salary for 2020.
Atlanta Braves outfielder Nick Markakis opted out of the 2020 season after seeing his teammate Freddie Freeman contract the coronavirus and be sidelined with symptoms of COVID-19. "Just hearing him, the way he sounded on the phone, it was tough," Markakis said in a press conference
. "It was kind of eye-opening. With everything that's going on, not just with baseball but all over the world, it makes you open your eyes."(Update: Markakis pulled a surprise move on July 29
and decided to rejoin the team for the remainder of the season).
Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Mike Leake, 32, became the first known MLB player to opt out of the 2020 season on June 29
. He was scheduled to make $16 million in a full season and is a free agent in 2021.
Felix Hernandez, a longtime pitcher and All Star for the Seattle Mariners, opted out of the 2020 season on July 4
. He signed a minor league contract with the Atlanta Braves this season and was competing for a rotation spot.
Joe Ross and Tyson Ross
Joe Ross, 27, and Tyson Ross, 33, two brothers and MLB pitchers for the Washington Nationals and a free agent respectively, both signed out of the 2020 season.
St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Jordan Hicks, 23, opted out of the season after being identified as a high-risk player due to his Type 1 diabetes. He's also recovering from Tommy John surgery.
Michael Kopech, 24, a pitcher for the Chicago White Sox, announced
on July 10 through the team's general manager that he would be sitting out the 2020 season. Kopech was recovering from Tommy John surgery that kept him sidelined in 2019.
Before New York Mets slugger Yoenis Cespedes opted out of the season, the team was alarmed to find
that Cespedes did not report to the ballpark and that he and his belongings were missing from his hotel room. The team was not made aware of his decision to opt out prior to his absence.
A week into the season, Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Lorenzo Cain opted out of the season after the team's home opener against the St. Louis Cardinals was postponed due to a COVID-19 outbreak among Cardinals players.
Dinwiddie is one of the few players that won't be playing due to a positive COVID-19 test. On July 7
the Nets' doctors advised Dinwiddie he should not play out of an abundance of caution.
Bradley, a vocal critic of the NBA's restart taking attention away from the nationwide social justice movement, opted out on June 23
in order to remain with his wife and three children.
Chandler opted out on June 28
so he could remain with his family and grandmother.
Sefalosha opted out on July 1
, though a specific reason was not given. He had previously expressed concerns over playing in the bubble amid the pandemic.
Like his teammate Dinwiddie, Jordan also will sit out the rest of the 2020 campaign after revealing
he tested positive for the disease.
The Indiana Pacers star had just come back from a ruptured quad tendon before the shutdown. He cited the uncertainty of the Orlando bubble
as part of his reason for opting out, but he reversed course and ultimately played in the first game for the Indiana Pacers' restart. (Update: Oladipo joined the Pacers in Orlando and played in scrimmages, but it is still unclear if he'll be part of the season restart).
Ariza opted out June 22
in order to commit to a one-month visitation window with his young son. Families are not allowed inside the NBA bubble until the end of August.
Smith was set to play for the Baltimore Ravens this season.
Mack, an undrafted rookie with the Carolina Panthers, decided on July 28 to forgo his
rookie season out of uncertainty from the virus.
The Chicago Bears defensive tackle opted out
on July 28 citing health concerns.
Another undrafted rookie, this one with the Dallas Cowboys. Guirdry is one of two Cowboys
to opt out, joining Maurice Canady.
Funchess is skipping his first season
with the Green Bay Packers over COVID-19 concerns. He had family members that contracted the virus.
The Kansas City Chiefs' starting lineman was the first NFL player to opt out
of the season. Duvernay-Tardif spent the offseason as medical volunteer at a long-term care facility in Montreal that was treating coronavirus patients.
Pierce, one of the Minnesota Vikings' big offseason signings, has respiratory concerns
and is considered high-risk.
The New York Giants' star lineman has a son who is currently battling cancer. Solder is also a cancer survivor himself.
The new Philadelphia Eagles receiver has a 5-month daughter
after his wife previously had three miscarriages.
Warmack missed of all 2019 and was set to compete for a roster spot on the Seattle Seahawks. He is a former top-10 draft pick.
The top-ranked female tennis player in the world is skipping the U.S. Open in New York next month. The Australian cited concerns
of traveling to a COVID-19 hotspot.
Nadal will also skip the U.S. Open
over COVID-19 concerns. Nadal won the tournament last year and is seeking to tie Roger Federer's record for Grand Slam wins.