Sport Union not thrilled with NFL memo threatening forfeitures for outbreaks among the unvaccinated
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Officially, the NFL Players Associationwith the NFL over Thursday’s memo that ramps up the pressure on unvaccinated . Unofficially, the union isn’t pleased.
As one union official predicted on Friday, there were no forfeits in 2020 and there will be no forfeits in 2021 — especially not with full stadiums of paying customers whose money would have to be refunded. They’ll get the games played, like they did in 2020. And they currently have more than enough vaccinated players to make that happen.
Bruce Arians: Buccaneers will fine unvaccinated players $14,000 for every protocol breach
NFL teams can’t force players to get the COVID-19 vaccine, but they can make life difficult for unvaccinated players. And they will. The latest example comes from Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians, who told Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times that he will fine any unvaccinated player $14,000 on the spot any time he [more]The latest example comes from Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians, who told Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times that he will fine any unvaccinated player $14,000 on the spot any time he is not wearing a mask where he is supposed to be, or is otherwise breaking any of the NFL’s protocols for unvaccinated players. Arians said there will be no warnings, just fines every time.
NFLPA spokesman George Atallah described the NFL’s memo to PFT as “classically tactless.” Beyond that, Atallah declined to comment.
The union, we’re told, wants to reduce the temperature when it comes to unvaccinated players being backed into a corner. The concern, per the source, is that when players lash out on social media against the vaccine, it potentially influences fans to take the same viewpoint.
That’s one of the main reasons why the union has resisted making vaccines mandatory. If that question were put to a vote of the union, it likely would prevail. After all, more than 80 percent of the membership have already gotten the vaccine. Forcing players who don’t want it and won’t get it to choose between vaccine or football will prompt more of them to use the available channels to complain about the league, about the union, and ultimately about the vaccine.
NFL defers issue of identifying vaccinated players at practice and games to teams
As training camps open and players return to the practice field, a question lingers regarding those who have and haven’t been vaccinated. How, if in any way, will they be distinguished? Not long ago, the NFL and NFL Players Association were discussing a system for allowing visual identification of vaccinated players at practices and games. [more]Not long ago, the NFL and NFL Players Association were discussing a system for allowing visual identification of vaccinated players at practices and games. (Currently, wristbands or credentials for the vaccinated are required when inside the team facility.
It’s the complaints about the vaccine that the NFLPA would prefer to avoid, in order to prevent potentially impressionable football fans from saying, for example, “Ifisn’t getting the vaccine, I’m not getting it either.”
Whether and to what extent football fans would rely on players for health-care advice isn’t clear, but this much is. When it comes to making important decisions, our nature is such that various factors combine into a stew that swirls around in our brains. Which ingredient will be the one to drive the eventual “yes” or “no” decision? Maybe a Cardinals fan in Arizona was wrestling on Thursday with the fresh pro-vaccine messaging from politicians and commentators who previously had spoken out against the vaccine. Maybe that fan was just about to decide to get vaccinated. Maybe Hopkins’ tweet was the thing that kept that from happening.
NFL Sends Teams Updated Training Camp, Preseason COVID-19 Protocols, Including Fines
Per NFL Network's Tom Pelissero, 85% of NFL players have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine as of Tuesday. View the original article to see embedded media.NFL sent teams updated camp and preseason COVID-19 protocols as players across the league arrive at their training camps across the country. Included in the memo, though, are details of the discipline players will face, regardless of vaccination status.
It’s impossible to thread popcorn on something like this. The broader point is that, the fewer the players who speak out against the vaccine, the lesser the chance that they’ll influence any of their social-media followers to not get it. That’s what the union is trying to avoid, and that’s why the union isn’t happy with Thursday’s empty threat of forfeitures, all in the name of squeezing any remaining anti-vaxxers in the 32 locker rooms to change their tunes and take their medicine, literally.
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It’s more clear than ever that unvaccinated players are at risk of getting cut .
Even before the July 22 memo from the NFL that raised the possibility of forfeits due to outbreaks among unvaccinated players and staff, the risks of choosing not to be vaccinated for NFL players were clear. The July 22 memo served only to underscore the reality that teams have an incentive to include unvaccinated players [more]It should now be crystal clear that, despite the rule that unvaccinated players can’t be released due to their vaccine status, it will be a factor in the final shaping of a roster.