Professional athletes that want to play sports outside of their home country during the COVID-19 pandemic might be able to do so sooner rather than later.
An order signed May 22 by acting United States Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf states athletes looking to compete in professional sports will be exempt from orders barring entry to the U.S. for foreign countries. The statement, released by the Department of Homeland Security on Sunday, claims “it is in the national interest to except aliens who compete in professional sporting events organized by certain professional sporting groups.”
“Professional sporting events provide much-needed economic benefits, but equally important, they provide community pride and national unity,” Wolf wrote. “In today’s environment, Americans need their sports. It’s time to reopen the economy and it’s time we get our professional athletes back to work.”
Those impacted by these changes include the players, staff and family of those playing for the MLB, NBA, WNBA, PGA Tour, LPGA Tour, NHL, Association of Tennis Professionals and the Women’s Tennis Association.
It’s been roughly two-and-a-half months since major league sports paused their seasons in the U.S., by the way.