By Ken Reed

What is wrong with the Los Angeles Chargers? Or, the NFL league office for that matter?

Despite flash flood warnings issued throughout the L.A. area, residents being advised not to travel by city authorities, a 5.1 earthquake earlier in the day that included after shocks felt throughout the area, MLB’s Dodgers and Angels rescheduling games on Sunday, Los Angeles’ Major League Soccer teams, the Galaxy and LAFC rescheduling their Sunday games, the Chargers and the NFL thought it was fine to play a meaningless preseason game between the Chargers and Saints Sunday evening, at a time when Tropical Storm Hilary was at its strongest with sustained winds around 50mph and strong rains.

SoFi Stadium in Inglewood has a roof but is open air on the sides and thus is susceptible to rain and wind blowing through the concourse areas during storms. That happened back in January during the college football national championship game when a winter storm hit Southern California with heavy rain. The stadium’s concourses became wet, causing multiple fans to slip and suffer injuries. In addition, SoFi Stadium was also built in a subterranean area that can be more susceptible to flooding.

The question which has to be asked is, why? Why didn’t the Chargers and/or the NFL do the right thing, the safe thing for players, fans, stadium workers, emergency response workers, etc., and postpone this game?

Is it just a matter of basic greed? Did the Chargers fear having to give refunds to a few thousand fans who bought tickets? Couldn’t they have just postponed the game for 24 hours? Did the NFL pressure the Chargers and Saints to play the game because it was being broadcast on the NFL Network? We certainly know media companies have a lot of power in sports these days.

Whatever the reasoning of the powers that be, it’s extremely hard to justify playing that game Sunday night in L.A.

The Chargers fancy themselves as being positive corporate citizens in the community. Playing that preseason game Monday night, despite it clearly not being in the best interests of the people of Los Angeles and the surrounding areas, would seem to contradict that.

Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans


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