NFL: Personnel should comply with local and state “stay at home” regulations

Getty Images

The NFL has taken a hard line with players regarding various types of off-field behavior. The NFL is not taking a hard line with players regarding the current mandates of the pandemic.

“Everyone associated with the NFL should follow the recommendations and guidelines of state and local authorities and medical experts,” the league said in response to questions regarding the report that Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott hosted a party for 30 on Friday night. “We want all personnel to model safe and appropriate health practices.”

Asked specifically in a follow-up regarding players not complying with “stay at home” orders that currently apply in nearly every square inch of the nation, the league said, “Personnel should comply will local and state regulations.”

Yes, they should. And the use of “should” instead of “shall” or “must” strongly suggests that the league won’t be doing anything about players who violate clear requirements aimed at keeping the coronavirus from spreading.

Before dismissing the possibility of discipline imposed by a league that has suspended players for years at a time because they smoked marijuana in the privacy of their own homes during the offseason, consider this: The Premier League fined Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish 150,000 pounds (roughly $187,500) for leaving his home to visit a friend.

Said his club at the time: “Aston Villa is deeply disappointed that one of our players ignored the Government’s guidance on staying at home during the coronavirus crisis. Club captain Jack Grealish has accepted that his decision to leave his house was wrong and entirely unnecessary. It breached the government guidelines which are clear and should be adhered to by everybody.”

The NFL has sweeping authority under the Personal Conduct Policy to punish players who violate the law and/or endanger others. Ignoring “stay at home” orders does both.

The fact that the NFL doesn’t seem to be inclined to take action reinforces the unfortunate message that violations send to the public. Making matters worse is the fact that most in the media have decided to keep quiet about the issue, whether to avoid controversy or to preserve access or to otherwise not make anyone upset by telling them something they’d rather not hear.

Meanwhile, the virus keeps spreading and people keep getting sick and dying. But, hey, go ahead and do whatever you want to do — and get mad at anyone who dares to point out that you shouldn’t.

27 responses to “NFL: Personnel should comply with local and state “stay at home” regulations

  1. I read an article of retired sherrifs at a celebration in Detroit in the beginning of march, dozens since are sick and one has died, a guy at the party has lost 8 friends in his community doing similar things like bingo and church hall dancing. Prescott is an absolute idiot and so is anyone in attendance. Morons!

  2. You are right Mike, but anyone who is surprised is naive at best. The old owner’s that are at risk have plenty of flunkies to get them food and run their errands and make sure their environment and their families environment is virus free. NFL wants to minimize the seriousness of the situation because that will make it more likely there will be football this fall.

  3. Dak and EE and company have already been shamed by the fans and media so I’m pretty sure they’re going to comply now. However the fact is the NFL does not have the right to fine a player for being stupid and selfish. It’s up to the public to pass judgement on those matters.

  4. Well Said. The superstars (and the young adults who littered the beaches of Miami and Ft Lauderdale a few weeks ago) feel immune and above the law.

  5. “Pigs get fat. Hogs get slaughtered “ said Mark Cuban a few years ago in relation to the NFL. The conduct of these players is reprehensible and the NFL has abdicated it’s leadership responsibilities by not coming out with meaningful and lawful sanctions to deter this dangerous behaviour. This virus is deadly and we all need to do our part to stem the death toll. Strap on a pair Roger!

  6. “We still have civil liberties in Canada. Just went for a run.”

    You can go for a run in the US. What you should NOT do is hold gatherings where people spread the virus.

  7. “The NFL is not taking a hard line with players regarding the current mandates of the pandemic.”

    Is anyone surprised. This league has become every in-likable. The players, 345 Park Ave, some of the coaches.
    Now it has reached a new level of low. I know there’s bad apples in every bunch, but the fact the NFL wasn’t way out in front of this and still doesn’t have their arms around it is absurd.
    Systemic management failure plus pro-athlete entitlement equals alienation of fan base. Pro sports are in for a rude awakening come the other end of this disaster

  8. This seems like a tough one for the NFL. Most of it’s enforcement activity relates to player violation of collectively bargained for rules/requirements — that is why marijuana use could be deemed a violation despite some players living in states where it’s use was legal. Here, I doubt there is any formal NFL rule, let alone a collectively bargained rule, requiring NFL players to stay at home. You couple that with differing State rules (ie ND, SD, Iowa don’t have stay at home orders in place), and it seems pretty hard for the NFL to both set rules and punish offenders. Sure the morons should stay at home, but the NFL’s big brother act can only go so far.

  9. ABinAtown says:
    April 13, 2020 at 11:51 am
    Dak and EE and company have already been shamed by the fans and media so I’m pretty sure they’re going to comply now. However the fact is the NFL does not have the right to fine a player for being stupid and selfish. It’s up to the public to pass judgement on those matters.
    ===============================================================
    He didn’t comply the first two or three times he did this. Why would he change his behavior now? Also, maybe the NFL can’t fine them but could their own team? It’s conduct detrimental to the league and he’s risking his health and that of those around him. His body (clearly not his brain) is his asset. Mess that up and it’s worthless.

  10. Although I agree he is an idiot, Dak is not currently under contract (he has not signed the tag), so I’m not sure the NFL or cowboys have any legal recourse to fine or suspend him.

  11. We have a government to enforce these rules. Let them do the job as they see fit. This is not a football issue.

  12. Color me shocked. Guys like Dak/Zeke who’ve never been told the rules apply them are now once again being told the rules don’t apply to them.

    King Roger gets it wrong once again.

  13. radar8 – I’m referring to Jack Grealish getting fined for leaving his home, but on second read I think he was actually fined for visiting his friend.

  14. Being an adult is hard work…..so it comes as no surprise that so many people are having a hard time with the rules. Tired of the selflessness of so many people in 2020.

  15. I wonder what Jerry Jones thinks about his quarterback? Especially since Jerry is in the high-risk category. You would think Dak would hear from him.

    It’s likely another case of being selfish & greedy. Just look the other way ….

  16. If players from non-protected teams (the protected teams are patriots, cowboys, packers, packers, packers, packers, Tom Brady’s Bucs, Steelers, chiefs, broncos) then there would be penalties. And you know that’s the truth.

  17. If the City and State had defined laws prohibiting group gatherings then Dak and company would have been fined or arrested. No laws were broken so the NFL has no right to fine them.

  18. Dang, I just want to read about the NFL and the draft. I get enough pandemic preaching through every other media source.

  19. meanwhile the NFL is coordinating at least 96 I.T. guys to be in 96+ different houses for the draft, something’s got to give

  20. radar8 says:
    April 13, 2020 at 12:09 pm
    “We still have civil liberties in Canada. Just went for a run.”

    You can go for a run in the US. What you should NOT do is hold gatherings where people spread the virus.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Correct. Now read the tone of this article again. That is not what is being said by the author. The real issue is the party involving 30 people but Mike is harping on the “stay at home” thing in a literal sense as he did with the throw/catch session a couple weeks ago. Look at his language concerning the conduct policy. Never has Mike been so pro player discipline on so little data. The reason is HE feels impacted and is terrified about the pandemic. Common sense and reason are needed but we won’t find much of that here. At no place in this country are people not allowed to step outside their homes because of the virus but that seems to be the interpretation used here and it is just nonsense.

  21. Dak should follow Colin Kaepernick’s example. He’s been social distancing from all 32 teams for a few years now

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.