Toronto Maple Leafs forward Auston Matthews discussed his positive COVID-19 test and his willingness to do so shows his maturity.
In a time where the COVID-19 pandemic has posed a lot of sensitive issues when it comes to wearing a mask, what should be open and remain closed, Matthews’ diagnosis was a big talking point. The main issue was that he never made his news official and considering this is a medical issue, it should have been him discussing it in the first place.
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This is why seeing Matthews talk about his diagnosis (whether he really wanted to or not) when asked by a reporter was the right move. Matthews could have easily passed on the question considering it was a private matter and the NHL has put in a policy where player’s names aren’t revealed.
Instead, he decided to bite the bullet and step up when there was criticism thrown at him and the Leafs by a particular columnist for not doing it in the first place. Matthews is the only NHL player who has actively discussed his own diagnosis (that we know of) and it’s a complete 180 for him based on what happened last year.
We all remember the incident he had in the off-season in Arizona and how that likely took him out of the running for the captaincy (although John Tavares was a strong choice). This shows that he learned from his mistake and is willing to do something that other players likely wouldn’t do.
Some might think commending Matthews might be a bit over the top but let’s remember the landscape of the NHL is much different than the other professional sports leagues. No league is releasing players’ names and any announcement is coming because the players are allowing it and many have.
Maybe more NHL players will be willing to share their diagnosis because of Matthews which wouldn’t be the worst thing considering there are some who aren’t willing to accept the dangers the coronavirus presents. Even so, whether an athlete discloses his case might not even hold that much weight but let’s not forget that many are at their peak physical shape and it shows that they aren’t immune to it.
Now Matthews doesn’t need to worry about anybody asking him about his COVID-19 diagnosis and he can focus on getting ready for the season. That in of itself is a benefit to the Leafs because they will need their star player free of any distraction and only worried about performing.
Do you think Matthews did the right thing discussing his COVID-19 diagnosis? Let us know in the comments below.