The NFL has a new set of COVID-19 protocols that ultimately separate vaccinated and unvaccinated players from each other.
As of right now, the league has not forced players and coaches to take the COVID-19 vaccine; however, many believe the new protocols that have been placed will force players to be pressured to take the vaccine so they won’t be deemed as a bad teammate.
Here’s a List of the New Rules Regarding Vaccinated and Unvaccinated Players
- Vaccinated players and coaches will not be required to wear masks at team facilities, whereas unvaccinated players will still be required to be masked up.
- Unvaccinated players cannot leave the hotel room while traveling while vaccinated players can leave at will.
- Players who are unvaccinated cannot eat meals with their teammates.
- Unvaccinated players are not allowed into the steam room or sauna.
- Players who haven’t taken the COVID-19 vaccine must travel on a separate plane than their teammates who are vaccinated.
- Vaccinated players are not required to take COVID-19 tests whereas unvaccinated players must be tested daily.
The USA Today reported that if a player or coach breaks any of these protocols they could face a hefty fine of $50,000.
Some of the protocols could be an extra burden on the team’s management who will have to spend extra money on flights; this could lead to NFL teams giving closed locker room talks that would coerce players to get vaccinated.
The NFL and NFLPA have agreed to updated COVID-19 protocols for 2021 training camp and preseason, per source.
How different will life by for vaccinated and unvaccinated players? From the memo that just went to clubs: pic.twitter.com/8yMPW0JBWZ
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) June 16, 2021
The league has enacted several initiatives to support players’ mental health in recent years; although, their latest move to isolate players from one another shows the hypocrisy that is occurring in the front office.
Players who won’t be allowed to participate in team meals, flights, and trips outside of their hotel could easily slip into a depressive state, due to their forced segregation from other players.
Bills Receiver Cole Beasley Says He Will “Retire” Before He Gets Vaccinated
Most players have been silent on the new protocols issued by the NFL, but Cole Beasley, in a series of tweets, gave the league his thoughts on the new rules. The Buffalo Bills wide receiver stated that he rather “retire” than be vaccinated. He went on to declare that his values and his way of living are more important than money.
Beasley also commented on the insanity of the new rules. He went on record to say that the new rules are “crazy,” considering both vaccinated and unvaccinated players will all be together during team meetings anyway.
I don’t have a problem with anybody getting the vaccine. That is YOUR choice. My problem is everyone is ridiculing and bullying people on here into getting one or thinking the same way about it. It’s becoming that way with any issue. This is not ok.
— Cole Beasley (@Bease11) May 14, 2021
As the NFL continues to strategically change their rules so they can open back up their stadiums to full capacity, many players believe their voices are being silent and unheard. The new protocols will more than likely force many players to get vaccinated in the name of convenience.