As it stands today, the only fans that are in the stands for Major League Baseball games in America are bizarre cardboard cutouts that some poor intern had to lug out into the seats at ballparks around the nation.
Our country is still deep in a coronavirus pandemic that has made sitting elbow to elbow with one another at a sporting event simply irresponsible, and sports fans truly are lucky to even have games to watch – especially in the COVID-riddled MLB, where the second weekend of games saw 20% of the contests postponed, canceled, or otherwise affected by outbreaks among players.
But there is some good news, with stadiums around the nation eyeing up ways to safely bring fans back into the fold…albeit with a scary new bit of technology involved.
Several Major League Baseball teams have held talks with a California startup called Airspace Systems Inc. that develops technology to detect whether people are wearing face masks, the league and the company said. The discussions focus on implementing the systems into cameras around the stadium to identify people without face coverings, with masks dangling from their chins or otherwise worn improperly.
Representatives for Airspace and MLB declined to name the teams in talks to use the technology. They also declined to comment on whether the tools would be reserved for fans or whether they would be deployed sooner for screening players or staff.
The move is controversial, for obvious reasons, and there is little chance that Americans who refuse to wear masks on account of the implied encroachment on their freedoms will be comfortable as high-tech cameras scan the crowd looking for violators.
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