The NFL is still planning to have a season this year, bless their hearts. And for all of the diehard gridiron fans out there, this is a hopeful sign that autumn won’t be quite as craptastic as the spring and summer turned out to be. Of course, coming to any sort of agreement on how things will operate and what precautions will be taken to mitigate the threat of the novel coronavirus was a complicated process. Rules needed to be imposed in terms of how players, staff and fans could safely participate. But last week, at last, the league and the NFL Players’ Association were able to finalize the details.
Much of the negotiations covered the usual checklist items that they have to deal with every season. The sticking points came with the questions about pandemic safety measures. Those have apparently been worked out however and the rules for player behavior and activities outside of the stadium and practice facilities include many restrictions on their social behavior. There is a long list of no-nos for the players, detailing certain “high-risk” activities which can result in fines and/or suspensions. They won’t be allowed to go to indoor night clubs or bars and house parties. Makes sense, right? But as CBS Boston points out, there’s another banned activity that will probably raise a lot of questions. (Emphasis in original)
There is, however, one rather interesting inclusion on the list of banned activity — one that might raise an eyebrow or two to anybody paying close attention. Here’s the fifth item on the list:
“Attending a professional sporting event (other than applicable NFL games or events) unless the player is seated in a separated seating section, such as a suite or owner’s box, is wearing PPE, and there are no more than 10 people in that separate seating section.”
The NFL … is banning players … from attending … professional sporting events … because … the NFL … believes … that attending sporting events … can exacerbate the spread … of the novel coronavirus.