The NFL is playing with the pandemic

“I’m a football guy,” Dr. Zachary Binney, an epidemiologist at Emory University and a die-hard Miami Dolphins fan, told me. “Watching those games on Sunday is like church for me and my dad. I have not missed a game in 25 years. I want this season more than anything right now. But I fear if you do anything outside of a bubble it might get ugly.”…

Take a look at the national landscape as the league’s scheduled September start nears: Experts say we have entered a “new phase” of exacerbated spread. The virus is spiking in California, Florida, Texas, Arizona, Georgia, North Carolina and Missouri — states which host 13 of the N.F.L.’s 32 teams. And it’s also ricocheting back to other previously stabilized states like Massachusetts and New Jersey, also home to the N.F.L. franchises.

Outbreaks, league officials told me, will be unavoidable. To say this while mandating that teams take serious precautions would be one thing. But the Kansas City Chiefs announced yesterday that they would cap fan attendance at games to 22 percent of Arrowhead stadium’s capacity. That’s almost 17,000 people, which is patently insane. And it flies in the face of everything science has told about this virus.