To the extent that the NFL and NFL Players Association are discussing procedures for players returning to work during the pandemic, the union contends that Sunday’s memo to all teams establishing specific protocols was sent without NFLPA approval.
“Some of you have been contacted by your clubs about coming back into the facility to workout, or rehab, citing a memo from the NFL,” the communication to all players from the NFLPA explains. “We write to inform you that we do NOT have an agreement to allow additional players to come back into the facilities at this point, and the League’s memo was sent to Clubs without the approval of your union.”
The union reiterates that players undergoing active medical treatment or rehab are permitted to be at the facility, and nothing more.
“We advise that you stay home and stay safe during this time as we continue to work through return-to-work protocols to keep you safe,” the message states.
This specific incident is a reminder of the ever-present potential for miscommunications, misunderstandings, and flat-out disagreements regarding any and all potential terms relating to players showing up for practices, meetings, games, etc. Ultimately, the NFL will go the way of the NBA or the NHL, which is on track to return to action, or Major League Baseball, which could end up losing the entire season over an inability between labor and management to strike an acceptable deal.