Jordan: NFL Needs to Commit Extra Focus to Player Health and Safety

Sports are coming back as the NBA resumes its season on July 30 and MLB starts its season on July 24. For these leagues, it is important to organize the return-to-play plan in a safe manner.

The NFL sent teams proposed protocols for gameday on Wednesday night.

Anyone with a temperature of 100.4°F or higher or might have been exposed to the coronavirus won’t be allowed in the stadium. Players and coaches won’t be required to wear masks on the sidelines, but bench area workers are required to wear one, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

Teams are prohibited from having interactions within six feet of each other after the game, and players can’t exchange jerseys.

Teams have until three days before the first preseason game to give the NFL a list of people with field access. People with field access must wear a face covering and remain outside a yellow dotted line, which will be between the 30-yard lines and be at least 10 feet behind the bench area, according to Chris Bumbaca of USA Today.

Teams will travel to the stadium on a bus and media won’t be allowed in the locker rooms.

Players have reacted to the proposed protocols and arent’ impressed, to say the least.

“This is a perfect example of NFL thinking in a nutshell,” 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman tweeted. “Players can go engage in a full contact game and do it safely. However, it is deemed unsafe for them to exchange jerseys after said game.”

Quandre Diggs and Darius Slay also tweeted their reactions.

The proposed protocols show that the NFL doesn’t care about the health and safety of its players. With many states seeing a rise in COVID-19 cases, coaches and players should be required to wear masks on the sidelines.

Players are risking their health during the game as they will be in contact with each other and close together. While players who test positive for coronavirus won’t play, there’s a chance that COVID-19 and other diseases could be spread during the game.

The NFL should consider canceling the season because of the rising coronavirus numbers and a possible second wave in the fall. However, there are no such plans as the league is planning to start the season on time on Sept. 10.

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