When this pandemic began, every major sport was shut down because of the virus. The NFL was in a position where it was not shut down due to the fact that they were in the off-season. There was no way that they drop the ball here, with months to plan how to deliver football to its millions of fans by the fall, right?
The league and players have yet to agree to safety protocols. At least 72 players have tested positive for coronavirus and athletes, some of the faces of the league at that, are expressing concerns about playing during a pandemic.
Those months that they had to come up with a plan turned into weeks, and the weeks are quickly turning into days. Training camp is set to begin in full on July 28 and there still is not a concrete plan for how football will work in the 2020 season. Another example of the NFL showing its incompetence. Just hoping all of this would go away on its own and not using the extra time that they had to develop an actual safety plan. Very United States government-like.
It seems as if the NFL only had a Plan A in regard to how to handle this situation: Prepare for the 2020 season, this will all blow over by the time we start our season. That is the only thing that makes sense to me. Which is crazy because in a situation like this, they should have at least had a back-up plan. Either resume as normal, resume with restrictions of some sort, or just no football at all.
Now you are less than ten days out from full practice, and there is no type of protocols in place. What the hell were they doing for all that time?
Russell Wilson was among one of the players in the NFL to speak out on this matter.
And Drew Brees.
And even Patrick Mahomes
Notice a trend? Some of the elite quarterbacks of the league expressing concern over the current plan that the NFL has put into place and wanting things to be fixed.
So, what happens now that these three and many others have expressed the desire to play football, but with a plan? The NFL is going to scramble and put a plan into place. It is going to feel like a two-minute drill, which is a bit concerning. They really treated this situation like a homework assignment that they waited until the night of to complete.
It is concerning because while the NFL has top-tier product, they have shown time and time again that they have bottom-level humanity for the people who are making them the money. This situation is no different.
Pushing the season start date back is the ideal solution until they figure out a way to protect the players, whose bodies are already at risk when they step out onto the field.
I get that we all miss sports. Hell, I have been waiting for the start of the NFL season since February. But I do not see the point in rushing to start the season on time when there is no game plan of how the players are going to be protected. I understand that it is impossible to be socially distant while playing football, but that is why I think the NFL needs to take a step back and re-think how they are going about this. They probably will not be it is what they need to do. They need to listen to their players and come up with some sort of solution to make the player’s work environment as safe as possible.