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Aaron Donald: You need fans to play a game

Mike Florio and Chris Simms look at the state of both the Rams and Chargers franchises as they move into a new stadium together and unveil fresh uniforms.

California Governor Gavin Newsom recently suggested that the state will be ready to reopen to professional sports in early June, but he’s also said that he doesn’t foresee football being played in front of full stadiums this year.

While Newsom isn’t the only person who has expressed that opinion, the effect his decisions will have on California are likely of particular interest to the Rams as construction finishes up at SoFi Stadium. The team’s star defensive tackle Aaron Donald addressed the possibility that he and his teammates will be playing in empty buildings during a conference call on Thursday and he made it clear that he isn’t in favor of it.

“You need fans to play a game,” Donald said, via “I don’t see how you could play a game without no fans, I feel like that takes out the excitement and the fun out of the game . . . I feel like the fans is what pick you up. The fans is what makes the game exciting. The fans will give you that extra juice when you’re tired and fatigued, when you make that big play and you hear 80,000 fans going crazy. That just pumps you up..”

The Rams are scheduled to open the 2020 season at home against the Cowboys on the first Sunday night of the season. It will likely be some time before any determination is made about allowing fans into the building, but the current state of affairs makes it hard to believe there will be the full house envisioned for the first night in the new stadium.