Over the past decade the NFL has publicly emphasized the importance of player safety. So why are they rushing the players back during a pandemic, without suitable safety protocols in place?
The NFL had the benefit of an entire off-season to plan and implement proper safety measures. Despite the extra time, the league now finds itself up against the wall.
Players are scheduled to begin reporting to team facilities for training camp this week. Rookies are set to report on July 21st, while quarterbacks are reporting on the 23rd. The deadline for all players to report is July 28th.
So While the rest of America is social distancing and staying home, the NFL expects its 2,080 players to show up to practice facilities located in cities deemed Covid-19 hotbeds within the week. There’s also a large number of support staff that must be present as well. Dozens of coaches, medical staff, equipment mangers and more will be put at risk.
NFL Players Speaking Up
On July 19th some of the NFL’s most high profile players voiced their safety concerns via social media.
The posts came just 24 hours after the NFL sent a memo to it’s teams that training camp will happen on schedule.
The NFL Players Union is currently negotiating with the league for better health and safety protocols. Some of the main concerns players have include compensation for players who choose to opt out of the season for health reasons and players not being paid for missed games after a positive Covid-19 test, due to it being a “non-football injury.”
NFL players are not essential workers. Delaying the season would be best for the safety of both the players and their families, but for now it looks like the season will proceed and begin as planned. Once positive tests start rolling in, it’s anybody’s guess whether the the season will finish or not.
Check out the author by clicking here.