That DeSantis would give the Dolphins the green light comes as no surprise. Since the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, he has pushed for Florida to remain open, especially for sports.
In May, DeSantis declared his state a sanctuary for any sports franchise or league needing a home.
“If you have a team … in an area that just won’t operate, we’ll find a place for them here in Florida,” DeSantis said, per the Tampa Bay Times.
Both the WWE and UFC resumed their seasons in the Sunshine State this spring. Florida hosted MLB’s spring training 2.0 and provided the NBA with a bubble at Walt Disney World in Orlando for the playoffs. And of course, the NFL opened training camp in July, with the Dolphins, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Jacksonville Jaguars returning to the gridiron.
It would also come at a time when the league is facing its first coronavirus outbreak, with the Tennessee Titans, New England Patriots and Las Vegas Raiders having players test positive this week.
In fact, NFL Network’s Judy Battista reports Dr. Allen Sills, the NFL’s chief medical officer, would consider pausing the regular-season schedule if the pandemic gets much worse.
“We’ve said all along every option’s on the table. We’ve never taken any option off the table, which includes some type of pause or reset or any other type of alternative arrangements.”
According to Johns Hopkins University, more than 7.5 million Americans have been diagnosed with the coronavirus, with 722,000 cases in Florida. The only states with more COVID-19 patients are California and Texas. Almost 15,000 Floridians have died from the coronavirus.