The National Football League warned teams they will forfeit games if unvaccinated players will cause outbreaks. If it comes out that teams or players are responsible for canceled games, they can receive forfeits and can lose money.
NFL Won’t Reschedule Games Due to COVID-19 Reasons
For the upcoming 2021 season, the NFL said it wants to operate as normally as possible. For this reason, it will require teams to act more responsibly in preventing cancellations of games due to COVID-19 reasons. Otherwise, teams will have to forfeit games and maybe receive individual player and team penalties.
In a memo sent to team executives and coaches, the NFL said that it won’t reschedule games that didn’t push through because of the COVID-19 outbreak. The postponement will only happen at the discretion of government authorities, medical experts, or the office of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.
Teams Already Have COVID Protocols In Place
The NFL also noted that most teams have COVID protocols in place for their staff. Many teams also reported 100% vaccinations for their top staff. In addition, these teams already have established protocols in case they have unvaccinated staff working among them.
In addition, the NFL said that more than 75% of players are currently completing their vaccinations. More than 50% of teams are now sporting 80% vaccination rates among players.
With the system in place, there should be minimal disruptions due to COVID-19 issues. However, if games become subject to cancellations due to unvaccinated individuals, both teams and players involved can face financial penalties.
Teams and Players Will Forfeit Games and Receive Other Penalties
For players, it is now possible to turn guaranteed money into unguaranteed income. In particular, players can face financial sanctions for conduct detrimental. As a result, the NFL Players Association warned its members that with the NFL’s stance, players should avoid getting slapped with conduct detrimental charges that lead to contract issues. In addition, the union advised unvaccinated players to get themselves vaccinated.
In fact, the NFLPA sent out its own memo Thursday. It reminded players that if the league missed games due to COVID-19, nobody would get paid. The memo invited players to contact the union if they have more questions.
Teams Responsible For Expenses For Cancelled Games
On the team front, clubs responsible for cancellations due to outbreaks among their staff and players will pay all expenses incurred by the opposing team. In addition, they will need to pay any shortfall between actual and expected payments to the visiting team’s shared pool. More importantly, the team will also carry the loss for the game.
“In light of the substantial roster flexibility in place for the 2021 season, absent medical considerations or government directives, games will not be postponed or rescheduled simply to avoid roster issues caused by injury or illness affecting multiple players, even within a position group,” the memo said.
The NFL also said that these moves ensure that their network partners and sponsors will receive protection from any undue game cancellations. The NFL is slated to start on September 9.
Watch the New York Post video reporting that NFL teams will forfeit games if unvaccinated players cause COVID-19 outbreak:
Do you agree or disagree with the NFL’s memo to its teams? Will putting more responsibility on teams for managing their COVID-19 protocols help reduce canceled games?
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