With strict safety protocols in place — and no fans in attendance — the Professional Bull Riders brought live sporting events back to Oklahoma.
Forty-one cowboys competed at the Lazy E Arena in Guthrie in a two-day event televised on CBS Sports News. Sean Gleason, PBR's CEO, said that the organization did everything it could to be able to hold the event safely.
"For 40 days," Gleason said in a video posted to Twitter, "we've been at it 15 hours a day to get to this point where we have a safe and responsible plan to get back to bucking."
The PBR has been sanitizing all surfaces, implementing face mask requirements, and prohibiting fan attendance, Gleason said.
"Some might ask: 'why buck bulls during a pandemic?' For us, the answer lies in the unbreakable spirit of the American cowboy," Gleason said. "We believe every American has an obligation to get our country and economy back on track, not by rushing ahead blindly, but in safe and responsible ways."
Gleason also said athletes and staff have been suffering financially, and resuming competition is good from an ecomonic standpoint.
"We don't make money if we don't have events," Gleason said. "The riders are independent contractors. Our stock contractors have to feed their bulls. We're a family. In hard times, you work your ass off to get your family back to work and help them out and help them through challenging times."
The PBR is expected to return to Guthrie for more events throughout the month of May.