Ernie Johnson wasn’t part of the broadcast crew for “The Match: Champions for Charity” on Sunday afternoon at Medalist Golf Club in South Florida.
While he would have been the perfect fit to call the COVID-19 charity match that pitted Tiger Woods and Peyton Manning against Phil Mickelson and Tom Brady, Johnson had the perfect reason for missing out on one of the first live sporting events since the pandemic started.
His 31-year-old son, Michael.
Johnson, in a three-minute pre-taped segment that aired just before “The Match” on Sunday, explained that Michael has been on a ventilator for the past nine years and “gets lung infections all the time.” That puts him at a much higher risk of contracting the coronavirus, which had infected more than 1.6 million people and killed nearly 100,000 in the United States as of Monday afternoon, according to The New York Times.
Because of his son’s situation, Johnson “didn’t think it was worth the risk of bringing in an unseen foe into our house.”
“I don’t know exactly what’s going to happen today at Medalist, but that’s the beauty of live sports, isn’t it? That and the escape it provides us for at least a few hours this afternoon,” Johnson said to end the segment.
“Here’s to remaining safe. Here’s to remaining hopeful. And here’s to doing it together.”
While “The Match” provided the sports world with plenty of much-needed entertainment on Sunday, Johnson’s message is sure to have left a lasting impression on fans everywhere.
Heartfelt thanks to all who have tweeted about this. I am blessed to work with people like Drew Watkins,brian sterling, Jonathan Wendell, chris Wolfe , George Adams, and kellen Stargell who poured their souls into this essay. 🤟 https://t.co/EpbrOJPYPl— Ernie Johnson (@TurnerSportsEJ) May 25, 2020
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