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NFL Announces Latest COVID-19 Safety Measures

Owen Smith
July 9, 2020

As of late, the world as we know it has been turned upside down because of COVID-19. Even though cases seem to be going down, organizations and sport leagues nationwide have set out to be unbelievably safe and cautious, keeping the health of the players and fans alike in mind. The NFL is no exception, and they proved this today as they released details of how they plan to return to play while combatting the virus. Per Tom Pelissero and Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, the league plans to enforce the following at all games, if any do take place. For one, the NFL Players Association will ban all post-game jersey exchanges, as well as all post-game interactions within six feet. There will be no more airfare for teams, as they will be required to travel to stadiums via bus. To enter the stadium, anyone with bench access will be thoroughly processed. If they have a temperature above 100.4, access will be denied and they will not be “permitted to enter”. Coaches and players on the sideline will not be forced to wear face masks on the sideline, but if they’re on the bench, it’s required. For the fans and media, all locker access will be strictly prohibited. The same goes for on-field seating and any access to players. All teams are also expected to follow the Baltimore Ravens example, as they announced a major cut in attendance capacity on July 8th. 

Now that the expectations and regulations have been laid out, some obvious questions arise. For one, football is and always will be a full contact sport in the NFL. What difference do all these rules make if one of the players is an asymptomatic carrier of the virus? Or if they’ve been playing full contact, why can’t they meet post game? While the NFL has yet to address this, perhaps the league's loudest voice has. Richard Sherman, cornerback for recent NFC Champion 49ers, tweeted this moments after the news was released.

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