The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has caused many sports leagues across the world to close down. The 2020 baseball season has still not started, the NBA and NHL postponed operations, and the Premier League only restarted nine days ago.
Professional wrestling has continued despite the pandemic, however, and WWE and All Elite Wrestling have still broadcast weekly programming and pay-per-views.
WWE EVP of Global Head of Sales and Partnerships John Brody discussed the wrestling behemoth's decision to continue producing new content on Sport Hiatus and revealed Vince McMahon thinks the company has a social responsibility to put fans first.
Brody said: "First things first, the health and safety of our Superstars like Charlotte, our legends like Ric (Flair), all of our frontline workers, because we have frontline workers also, is first and foremost of paramount importance to us. But it comes down to leadership in many ways and our leader… believes we have a social responsibility to put fans first and to help fans get a little break from what was then coming and what we're all now in the midst of.
"And we have a responsibility to try and take them away for a few hours and let them watch Charlotte do the amazing things she and her colleagues do in the ring and give them a smile. Give them a chance to feel something other than what they're watching… on the news. And we leaned in, not because we knew exactly a straight path ahead, we leaned in to say we are going to put fans first, we are going to do everything we can working with state, local and federal officials to make sure it's safe first for our most important resource, Charlotte Flair and the WWE Superstars. But we're going to do everything we can to deliver content for our partners FOX, NBCU, all of our partners around the world, but for our fans."
He later added: "We understand the decision that other sports properties have made and we wouldn't have made the decision we made if we didn't think we could do it safely for our internal, and frankly, for all those who are affected if we didn't think it was the right tonality, but we felt America and the world needed it and needed a little pick me up."