Elena Delle Donne Was Told She Shouldn’t Opt Out of 2020 Season Due to Her Battle With Lyme Disease
Since 2008, one of the biggest names in the WNBA, Elena Delle Donne, has battled with Lyme Disease. As a result of living with a chronic disease, Delle Donne has been even more concerned about her health with COVID-19 spreading across the world.
As a result, Delle Donne decided that it would be in her own best interest that she sit out the 2020 season in order to ensure she stays healthy. However, the WNBA told her that wouldn’t be possible.
In a statement given to ESPN, the Washington Mystics forward said “the independent panel of doctors the league appointed to review high-risk cases have advised that I’m not high risk, and should be permitted to play in the bubble.”
However, as she continued her personal doctors disagree. “I love my team, and we had an unbelievable season last year, and I want to play! But the question is whether or not the WNBA bubble is safe for me. My personal physician who has treated me for Lyme disease for years advised me that I’m at high risk for contracting and having complications from COVID-19.”
“I’m thinking things over, talking to my doctor and my wife, and look forward to sharing what I ultimately plan to do very soon,” Delle Donne concluded.
Delle Donne’s agent, Erin Kane, said the basketball player’s “initial reaction was disbelief” when she learned of the WNBA’s ruling. And while Lyme Disease isn’t on the CDC’s list of underlying conditions that could put someone at an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19, Dr. John Aucott, the director of Johns Hopkins Lyme Disease Research Center, told ESPN that “he’s not surprised” with the panel’s decision.
He says that because there are “only a handful of people in the country who are experts in chronic Lyme disease.” And Delle Donne’s colleagues are upset for her as well.
“It’s bullsh*t. WNBA either play or risk her life…what do we stand for? Cause apparently it’s not the players,” Natasha Cloud wrote on Twitter. Yet, despite the WNBA’s decision, Kane says it’s still possible that Della Donne opts out of the 2020 season.
Sara Vallone has been a writer and editor for the last four and a half years. A graduate of Ohio University, she enjoys celebrity news, sports, and articles that enhance people’s lives.