How Pro Athletes Are Spending Their Time Now

Jane Heise, Managing Editor

As most of the United States hunkers down in quarantine, many have struggled finding a remedy for boredom. This does not exclude professional athletes, who have all taken to social media in one form or another to share their quarantine activities with their fans.

The popular app, Tiktok, has infiltrated the lives of people all around the world, including famous NBA player Shaquille O’Neal and his sons. According to Wallaroo Media, Tiktok has 800 million monthly users; for comparison, the United States currently has a total population of approximately 330 million. Many have taken this extra free time as a chance to participate in Tiktok’s challenges, ranging from family pranks to complicated dance routines. “Shaq’s” account has proved to be quite popular: he currently has 2.1 million followers.

Instagram has also proved to be an immensely popular form of communication, with professional athletes of all backgrounds taking to the app to spread awareness, tips or at-home workout videos. For example, professional women’s lacrosse player and Team USA member Taylor Cummings has shared multiple IG-TV workout videos that her thousands of followers can do from home. These videos give Cummings an opportunity to remind her followers of the importance of social-distancing and an extra boost of energy by following along with her workout routine. Professional tennis player Serena Williams has also utilized Instagram to share her tennis challenges, cooking videos and at-home workout routines. Her videos have amassed millions of views, proving that social media has the potential to reach fans across the world. 

According to NBC Sports, on April 19, ESPN released the first episode of their new documentary miniseries, “Last Dance,” featuring the life of basketball legend Michael Jordan. It is one of 10 episodes detailing the full picture of Jordan’s legacy, meant to depict the raw, unfiltered career of this sports star. It was released prematurely, as ESPN recognized the opportunity to fill up the evenings of basketball fans everywhere who could definitely use the entertainment. 

Many athletes have been active on Twitter, including professional NBA player Kevin Durant and his manager, Rich Kleiman, who have been frequenting their account, The Boardroom; this account was created in 2018 and has been utilized to share sports-related media by Durant throughout this quarantine. For example, basketball players and fans alike can find Durant interviewing ESPN host and former NBA player Jay Williams regarding the “Last Dance” documentary before it aired. The Boardroom’s account also organized a virtual watch party for the documentary by using the hashtag #thelastdance to converse live on Twitter as viewers watched, creating a sense of community and conversation despite not leaving one’s home. 

Athletes also use Youtube as a reliable way to reach their fans: professional lacrosse player Paul Rabil has posted weekly videos to keep his viewers engaged. Rabil’s videos are all quarantine-friendly solutions including: “Playing Lacrosse While Quarantined” and “I Built My Own Quarantine Goal.” Paul Rabil’s Youtube account currently stands at 213,000 subscribers, making his videos a great way to reach lacrosse players around the country.