John Oliver did a lengthy segment on the latest episode of "Last Week Tonight" discussing the lack of sports in the United States right now.
Oliver mentioned the fact that WWE and AEW have continued to run events in Florida and brought up the UFC hosting Fight Island in the near future.
On the subject of WWE, Oliver said, "The WWE has continued staging shows in Florida, holding matches in front of empty chairs. But that requires a lot more people than just those two wrestlers. You need production crews working together in close proximity. While the WWE maintains its safety measures are as comprehensive as they can possibly be, one employee wrote an anonymous letter to a Florida county commissioner, asking them to shut the tapings down because 'despite sanitary precautions, we cannot maintain social distancing and have to touch other people.' It's easy to see why CEO Vince McMahon doesn't mind taking that risk, as he told investors on a recent earnings call, 'viewers want to see new matches.'"
AEW was briefly mentioned as a note that they are also running, but Oliver didn't elaborate on their procedures or practices.
When it came to UFC, Oliver said, "Clearly, staging events is risky at the moment. Just the day before last weekend's UFC event, a fighter [Jacare Souza] had to pull out after he and two of his cornermen tested positive [for COVID-19], underscoring the fact that if you want to come back completely, without risk, that's just not possible right now."
WWE also had a talent test positive for COVID-19 in April, though things continued as normal with the talent making a full recovery.
Oliver concluded his bit about wrestling and MMA, tying it back to the general topic of sports returning by saying, "While pro wrestlers and UFC fighters and college athletes have no union, those in major pro sports do and therefore, they have significant negotiating power. If you want them to isolate themselves from their families and put their lives at risk, you need their agreement."
As of now, the NBA, NHL, and MLB have all suspended their respective seasons and there is no indication of when they will resume games.
Oliver has previously used WWE as a talking point, discussing their ventures to Saudi Arabia and status as independent contractors.
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