With the NFL opening up in just a few days, questions about health protocols and policies remain one of the most talked-about issues. The National Football League is a billion-dollar corporation with a lot to lose if things were to shut down again. According to reports, the NFL is taking matters seriously with many players refusing to get vaccines. Some teams went as far as to cut players who have different stances on COVID-19 and the treatments available. But, as we do live in America, people are free to express their opinions and beliefs. In expressing their beliefs, it has led to some serious problems between players and the powers that be.
Cole Beasley, a wide receiver for the Buffalo Bills, has been one of the most vocal when it comes to the NFL’s health and safety protocol. Two weeks ago, Beasley was fined for not wearing a mask while in the team’s practice facility. While he didn’t offer a comment, Bills head coach Sean McDermott did fully support NFL’s decision in the matter.
“It’s unfortunate when players get fined,” Sean McDermott said about the issue. “That being said, these rules have been agreed upon and in place and well-communicated for some time. And so it’s important for us that we focus on being safe and healthy — that’s No. 1 and that’s always been No. 1 — and then No. 2 is doing our best to stay focused on the goal and the purpose of why we’re here — which is to win football games.”
Cole Beasley isn’t the only one tired of the policies, many other players are speaking out against it. Fellow teammate of Beasley, Isaiah McKenzie also announced he was being fined more than $14,000 for his violating health protocols.
Some NFL teams are taking safety a step further and requiring COIVD vaccine IDs to enter the stadiums. Seattle Seahawks, New Orleans Saints, and Los Vegas Raiders are some of the teams doing their part to help decrease cases throughout the league. To enter those stadiums, you would need a negative 72-hour COIVD test. With the vaccines now being FDA approved, it allows teams and companies to set more mask mandates and policies. The NFL players union is also trying to ease the stress of the new season with their own rules.
NFLPA president and Browns center JC Tretter addressed the league in a letter hoping to increase the safety of the players this season. The NFLPA released a memo calling for daily testing to help combat early signs of COVID.
“Since the beginning of training camp, we have been testing our vaccinated players once every 14 days. It has been ineffective as we’ve had significantly more incidents of transmission inside the building this year than last year,” Tretter wrote.
“The NFLPA saw this coming months ago and has been advocating for a return to daily testing because it is more effective way to stop and prevent the spread of the coronavirus in our locker rooms. However, the NFL decided to move to weekly testing; and while that is a step in the right direction, it leaves us open to many of the same problems we’ve been facing.”
While last year seem to be no end in sight for COVID, it seems to be the case this year. More variants are popping up and many people still with questions about the vaccine, it’s impossible to see the effects the rest of the season will have. North American sports and businesses overall are not in favor of forfeiting another year of lost revenues for the good of the American people.