OPINION

Sport, our multi-gazillion dollar sinkhole

Let's talk a global look at world sport right now. Wait, what? Oh, it's pretty much a blank sheet. Gasp.

That sportiest of sporty PMs, Boris Johnson, effectively pulled the plug on anything sweaty in the UK this week due to the coronavirus pandemic

You know it's serious when the Grand National and the boat race are canned. And that's before we even mentioned the mothballed Premier League, EFL and FA Women's Super League.

Of course, it's just as chronic in the states where the NBA, college basketball, the National Hockey League, golf's organising body, the PGA, and all manner of sports are on hold. There's a multi-gazillion dollar sinkhole now dedicated to sport and it's overflowing.

And, of course, there's the very public hand-wringing of our own winter sports codes about how best to maintain a presence but keep players (and fans) safe.

As much as purists might like to prefer it swept under the carpet, there's also the ever-so intrinsically linked sports betting world to attach to the issue, too. That's when the money factor rises exponentially. Add to that TV rights across the globe and, without sounding too alarmist, we're talking major economic implications. But it's just sports, right? Well, no. Whether we like it or not sports - and the money involved - helps the world turn.

The situation became even more serious (if that's even possible) earlier this week when the single sport that rumbled on relentlessly in face of everything ground to a halt.

It was, of course, the omnipotent, border-busting UFC.

For weeks, UFC president Dana White was adamant fights would power on regardless. But when his buddy, US President Donald Trump, advised against gatherings of more than 10 people, White fell into line.

Who would've thought a sport which involved a sport which features all sorts of bodily fluids spilling everywhere would need to be reined in? Well, the world and his wife actually. And now, it seems, White, too.

UFC's head honcho reportedly sent an email to his employees on Monday to inform them that UFC events on March 21, March 28 and April 11 have been indefinitely postponed.

It's a huge call. And a necessary one.

Taxes and death maybe two certainties in life but so is the fact that sport mirrors life. Who would've thought it would take the UFC's admission that it needs to change its practices for that to be underlined so emphatically in 2020?

Janine Graham is an ACM journalist