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With the coronavirus pandemic placing a major emphasis on health and safety issues, many professional athletes have chosen not to return to their particular sports — or even play at all — this season.

Here are the dates in which the major professional sports leagues in North America are expected to resume or begin play: Major League Soccer (July 8); Major League Baseball (July 23); Women’s National Basketball Association (July 24); National Basketball Association (July 30); National Hockey League (Aug. 1); and National Football League (Sept. 10). 

Below is a list broken down by sport of those who have made the decision to opt out of participating in 2020. Those denoted with an asterisk have decided to not play due to non-coronavirus-related reasons, such as to focus on social justice reform or personal reasons.


C Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants 

SP David Price, Los Angeles Dodgers

1B Ryan Zimmerman, Washington Nationals 

SP Joe Ross, Washington Nationals

OF Nick Markakis, Atlanta Braves 

SP Felix Hernandez, Atlanta Braves

SP Mike Leake, Arizona Diamondbacks

C Wellington Castillo, Washington Nationals

OF/1B Ian Desmond, Colorado Rockies

SP Tyson Ross, free agent

RP Jordan Hicks, St. Louis Cardinals

SP Michael Kopech, Chicago White Sox

SP Collin McHugh, Boston Red Sox

RP Tim Collins, Colorado Rockies


G Victor Oladipo, Indiana Pacers

C DeAndre Jordan, Brooklyn Nets

F Wilson Chandler, Brooklyn Nets

F Trevor Ariza, Portland Trail Blazers

G Avery Bradley, Los Angeles Lakers

F Davis Bertans, Washington Wizards

C Willie Cauley-Stein, Dallas Mavericks

F Thabo Sefolosha, Houston Rockets


Rebecca Allen, New York Liberty

Liz Cambage, Las Vegas Aces

*Natasha Cloud, Washington Mystics 

*Tiffany Hayes, Atlanta Dream 

Jonquel Jones, Connecticut Sun 

*Renee Montgomery, Atlanta Dream 

Chiney Ogwumike, Los Angeles Sparks 

LaToya Sanders, Washington Mystics 

Kristi Toliver, Los Angeles Sparks

*Cecilia Zandalasini, Minnesota Lynx

*Maya Moore, Minnesota Lynx (announced in January)

Asia Durr, New York Liberty


Carlos Vela, Los Angeles FC 

Ike Opara, Minnesota United FC

Lucas Cavallini, Tosaint Ricketts, Fredy Montero and Andy Rose, Vancouver Whitecaps FC

Nedum Onuoha, Real Salt Lake

Robbie Robinson, Inter Miami CF


Travis Hamonic, Calgary Flames

Roman Polak, Dallas Stars

Sven Baertschi, Vancouver Canucks

Mike Green, Edmonton Oilers

Steven Kampfer, Boston Bruins

Karl Alzner, Montreal Canadiens 


Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, Kansas City Chiefs

De’Anthony Thomas, Baltimore Ravens

Danny Vitale, New England Patriots

Chance Warmack, Seattle Seahawks

Maurice Canady, Dallas Cowboys

Najee Toran, New England Patriots

Caleb Brantley, Washington Football Team

Marcus Cannon, New England Patriots

Andre Smith, Baltimore Ravens

Brandon Bolden, New England Patriots

Dont’a Hightower, New England Patriots

Kyle Peko, Denver Broncos

Eddie Vanderdoes, Houston Texans

Stephen Guidry, Dallas Cowboys

Eddie Goldman, Chicago Bears

Cole Wick, New Orleans Saints

Anthony McKinney, Tennessee Titans

Star Lotulelei, Buffalo Bills

Patrick Chung, New England Patriots

Michael Pierce, Minnesota Vikings

Marquise Goodwin, Philadelphia Eagles

Devin Funchess, Green Bay Packers

Nate Solder, New York Giants

Damien Williams, Kansas City Chiefs

Drake Dorbeck, Cleveland Browns

Drew Forbes, Cleveland Browns


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