The kickoff to the 2020 NFL season is 60 days away.
Many players have stated that the league is yet to inform them of how they plan on keeping them safe. The NBA is going with the “bubble” and a tournament-style season. Other major leagues have modified seasons without fans.
However, the message from the NFL is not clear to anyone. Some teams like the Baltimore Ravens have announced that stadium capacity will be limited. And teams like the Miami Dolphins have released statements to their members, but only to say that a decision is still pending.
The NFLPA and owners are meeting on a daily basis to discuss opt-out options, address salary concerns, and schedule modifications. The NFL is a business, a big one for that matter. According to Nasdaq, the unified market value of the 32 teams is well over $90 billion. This is up from $60 billion just five years ago. As such their primary goal is to make money.
That is where the conflict starts. Regardless of your personal level of concern for the ongoing pandemic, one thing that can’t be disputed is that there is a virus that has no vaccine. The only protection one has is if you so choose, is to limit your exposure. Social Distancing has been provided as an option for those that have the ability to take advantage of it. However, football is a full-contact sport and if you ask any NFL defensive coordinator, distancing is how you get fired.
The Harsh Reality
The NFL has its agenda to make money by entertaining its fans. This may outweigh the risks to the safety of their fans and employees. If the NFL season goes on as planned with no restrictions and no resolution to the coronavirus, players who shouldn’t play will play, coaches who shouldn’t coach will coach, and fans that shouldn’t attend will attend.
This is hard coming from a guy that has not missed a Dolphins home game in over two years. But, in my opinion, the NFL should suspend its season until they have a way of keeping their employees, communities, and fans safe.