(CNN)The pandemic forced nearly every sports league in the world to cancel or postpone games. But now, athletes are considering a return to the game. CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta talks to legendary sports commentator Bob Costas about how the forthcoming seasons will work and whether they're worth the risk.
Bob Costas on the Future of Sports: Dr. Sanjay Gupta's coronavirus podcast for June 26
You can listen on your favorite podcast app or read the transcript below.
Dr. Sanjay Gupta: For fans like me, sports have never been just about the game. It's about the whole experience. The electricity of the crowds. The witnessing of athletes perform superhuman feats. All the little traditions — the hot dogs, the wave, the seventh inning stretch. It's about the cheering, the energy, the bonding, the socialization and the hope beyond hope that this year will be the year that your team finally wins.
But for the past few months ... all of that has been gone.
The pandemic forced nearly every sports league in the world to cancel or postpone games. Even the 2020 Olympics have been pushed back a year, at least.
But now some sports are starting to return. NASCAR and golf have resumed, without fans. So have some European soccer leagues.
And now all the major American sports leagues are making plans to come back as well. I'm talking about baseball, basketball, hockey and, yes, even football. They're all hoping to bring players together in person as soon as next month. What happens with these sports leagues will likely inform how we all progress together as a society.
While the leagues have spent months drafting protocols for shortened seasons, frequent testing and physical distancing in facilities, there is still a lot of uncertainty about how these sports can actually move forward, and also what will happen if lots of players start to test positive for the virus.