When the NFL issued an initial memo outlining the steps for a “Phase 1” reopening of team facilities, it seemed that the league was abandoning it’s all-or-none approach to the 32 franchises resuming business activities. At the time, the league said that the principle still applies. Friday’s memo regarding the “Phase 1” reopening makes it clear that, for the first time, the league is applying two standards.
“Clubs may reopen their facilities beginning on May 19 if they are permitted to do so under governing state and local regulations,” the memo begins. This means that some teams may be able to open, and some teams possibly may not be able to open, depending on state and local requirements.
The league has addressed the potential inequity by clarifying its prior memo to prevent not only players but also coaches from returning to work. Still, after more than two months of ensuring that the exact same rules apply to all teams, it’s looking possible if not likely that some teams will turn the lights back on, and that others won’t.
Moving forward, it’s possible that other inequities will arise. But with the league determined to play the 2020 season, teams on the wrong end of rules that apply differently to different franchises will just have to deal with it.