Report: “Heated discussions” within some teams over pandemic protocol “tier” status

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As explained two weeks ago, the NFL has developed a pandemic protocol that divides access to restricted areas into three tiers. Since the June 7 memo was distributed to all teams, the process of identify who lands in which tier has been a point of contention in some NFL cities.

Via Adam Schefter of ESPN.com, “heated discussions” already have occurred within teams regarding the proper placement of each employee in the appropriate tier.

The memo from the Commissioner to all teams specifies that Tier 1 includes players, coaches, trainers, doctors, the strength/conditioning coach, and the head equipment manager, Tier 2 includes other non-playing personnel (like the General Manager, ownership representatives, football operations employees, etc.) who will be required to maintain physical distance from Tier 1 individuals or use Personal Protective Equipment, and Tier 3 includes persons who perform essential facility, stadium, or event services, but who do not require close contact with Tier 1 individuals.

Not long after word of the June 7 memo emerged in the media, the NFL Players Association informed its constituents that there has been no agreement with the league on any of these issues.

The time is drawing near for agreements and protocols and plans. The recent drip of dreary coronavirus news obscures the league’s high degree of optimism that the games will be played. Sooner than later, the league needs to develop the kind of details and project the kind of confidence that will make people realize and agree with the optimism.

54 responses to “Report: “Heated discussions” within some teams over pandemic protocol “tier” status

  1. Many Americans did not want to wear mask for 3 months so now all of us will likely wear them for about 2 years.
    This Pandemic is proving to be worst than expected, would not be shocked to see no sports until late 2021 at the earliest.
    This is reality.

  2. Um, here’s a suggestion. Shut it down and stop risking the lives of innocent people! Could care less if the players, coaches and ownership get infected because they are making the choice— just stay at home and live or die on your own after infected. It’s the innocent family members, team employees and health care workers getting exposed that is concerning.

  3. Given how many issues have come up just with players getting together to practice and large numbers of major college teams having to shut practices down due to many players testing positive….

    I don’t think they will be a college football season. I really don’t think there SHOULD be an NFL season.

    The only way–bring everbody to a neutral site and isolate everybody FROM everybody for 2-3 weeks, then you can have everyone in closed environment for the entire season.

    But i seriously doubt teams or the league want to have their own private location/ football bubble or whatever for the entire season.

    If one guy sneaks out and brings it back to the bubble…everyone is toast. Lots of the coaches are older and have health issues. Tom Brady is 43!

    Don’t do it.

  4. Its pretty simple actually…. there will end up being no football season & round 2 of the virus accompanied with the annual flue season will once again put a massive strain on health care workers…..
    A vaccine needs to be developed & the sooner ALL SPORTS franchises suck it up & realize that, the easier it will be on everyone….
    I mean what does it say to the public when the gatherings of 90 + people in all of these different places takes place & yet the CDC says to wear masks & keep 6’ away….. WHAT A JOKE!!! Sports teams & owners need to do whats RIGHT & BEST for everyone involved including the fans….they have had no issues milking the public for all they can, well now its time to pay the piper!!!

  5. If fans can’t go, why can players who are literally hugging each other for 3 hours?

  6. There will be a season. Most people don’t even have symptoms. Suck it up, buttercups

  7. Honestly, and I can’t believe I’m writing this but bag all sports until this thing is straightened out. We all know what needs to be done and it can’t be given the nature of sports. Shut it down until 2021 and call it a day.

  8. I want to see these guys get a normal job and truly feel the working class struggle.

  9. They need to increase rosters to seventy-five players to accommodate the sick players.

  10. “The only way–bring everbody to a neutral site and isolate everybody FROM everybody for 2-3 weeks, then you can have everyone in closed environment for the entire season.”

    Pretty much impossible. You can isolate the teams in hotels that’s fine. But then you need food service and cleaning staff, front desk staff, food and other deliveries with drivers, laundry staff etc etc etc.

    And that’s assuming you can keep the young men who have already been more cooped up than they like totally cooped up for months without any of them breaking the isolation protocols.

    Good luck, they’re gonna need it

  11. The amount of patients admitted to the ICU’s across my state actually went DOWN over the weekend, so there’s that.

  12. “If fans can’t go, why can players who are literally hugging each other for 3 hours?”

    Because the billionaires don’t care about the players or coaches really but care an awful lot about the huge, tasty TV money that they will still make if games are played with no fans. Something like 12-13 billion even if not 1 fan attends a game this year.

  13. At best,the NFL shouldn’t be planning for more than 10 games this year and no fans in the seats. Better to be more cautious,than to start on time and have to shut it down.

  14. Any attempt to play football is waaaaay more about money than it is about football or the health and safety of both players and fans. This is a very bad decision being made by the league with the acquiescence of the Players Association. I believe each will regret it before too long.

  15. The NFL will figure out the best way forward. They have the best information available, and they’re looking out for everyone.

  16. The NFL’s high level of optimism during this pandemic changes NOTHING.
    The season was doomed from the start, barring direct violations of CDC guidelines.

  17. “I want to see these guys get a normal job and truly feel the working class struggle.”

    A large number of players came from working class or below the poverty level families.

  18. MortimerInMiami says:
    June 22, 2020 at 10:09 am
    Many Americans did not want to wear mask for 3 months so now all of us will likely wear them for about 2 years.

    —–

    Many Americans believed the WHO and our own Surgeon General when they stated that masks don’t make any difference….

  19. The season will be a fluid week to week situation. What happens if a player or coach gets the virus and dies ? Everyone will step back and take a much harder look at this.

  20. It is irresponsible to put players, admins, security, and fans at risk. If the NFL truly believes that”we’re in this together,” and if the NFL sincerely wants to identify and engage with fans, go without work for a year.

  21. I hate to say it, but the cloudier the situation grows, the clearer the eventual outcome seems to get.

  22. Let me clarify on my earlier point–it would have to be a large group going into quarantine for at least 2 weeks, then going into an actual BIODOME to be totally isolated with all coaches, players, staff needed for the entire season.

    They probably could figure out a way to have food brought in that would be kept isolated from players and coaches and other supplies through one supply chain to monitor for illness, spray packages, limit exposure risk.

    But the odds of NFL going to this level is Zero. I am not sure what the NBA has planned in terms of their Orlando Plan….but its hard if they don’t go to a full bubble..which isn’t so easy.

    Just from the sample size to date as I mentioned before….it is going to be impossible to prevent a player or coach from getting it. And someone will likely get it may get very sick, if not die. If its not safe for fans to be in the stands, its not safe for the players.

  23. Frisco has shown that there is no safe area within this country when many players contracted the virus out of state, and that moving practice facilities only moves the problem, without solving it. Ironically New York now has a lower infection rate than many other states because of sheltering in place, while may other states have a rising infection rate after re-opening too early.

  24. In reality their plenty of time, since they will not play a full preseason slate, their likely will be no preseason game and only two at the absolute most.

  25. liberalmediaknowsbest says:
    June 22, 2020 at 10:58 am
    I want to see these guys get a normal job and truly feel the working class struggle.

    *********************************************************************************

    Football players historically have come from working and middle class backgrounds. I’m pretty sure most aren’t completely isolated from what working class people are dealing with now.

    Also, if you have that much resentment toward the players, why follow the sport.

  26. SWFLPC.INC says:
    June 22, 2020 at 11:43 am

    Many Americans believed the WHO and our own Surgeon General when they stated that masks don’t make any difference….

    ******************************************************************************

    Many Americans also don’t understand how the accumulation of knowledge in science works. You start by collecting data on something of interest, forming conclusions based on those data, and generating recommendations. If you collect additional data that causes you to update your knowledge or beliefs about a situation, your recommendations may also change. In that way, science is supposed to be self-correcting, which is a good thing.

    For COVID, a big turning point was realizing that asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic spread was potentially a big problem. The extent of this wasn’t known at the outset. At that point, the CDC changed their stance on masks because they reduce the likelihood that asymptomatic/pre-symptomatic people may spread to others. There’s nothing inconsistent or overly tricky about that.

  27. The NFL needs to pack up the tent and close down for a year far to many risk at this time for just playing a game. People need to wake up this virus KILLS

  28. The downvotes are indicative of just how many people refuse to take this pandemic seriously. The experts were right that too many people have an irrational anti science attitude and would rather rely on social media memes

  29. granadafan says:
    June 22, 2020 at 1:13 pm
    The downvotes are indicative of just how many people refuse to take this pandemic seriously. The experts were right that too many people have an irrational anti science attitude and would rather rely on social media memes
    ———-
    98% of the U.S. population does NOT have it.

  30. Even people that recover have super thick blood and permanent lung damage. Players are looking at a career ending disease.

  31. If you believe in science, Lancet says: There is a 17.4% chance of spreading the virus when don’t wear a mask vs. a 3.1% chance when you do. If you don’t believe in science you probably don’t wear a mask and ridicule the people that do.

  32. Vladimir_Trump says:

    June 22, 2020 at 10:11 am

    “Its not safe for fans to attend games”

    “But its safe for us?”

    -NFL players
    ————
    Comparing at most 200 people in a stadium that holds 70,000 is nowhere near the same scenario as comparing 70,000 people crammed into that same space

  33. Vladimir_Trump says:

    June 22, 2020 at 10:11 am

    “Its not safe for fans to attend games”

    “But its safe for us?”

    -NFL players
    ————
    Comparing at most 200 people in a stadium that holds 70,000 is nowhere near the same scenario as comparing 70,000 people crammed into that same space….

  34. Vladimir_Trump says:

    June 22, 2020 at 10:11 am

    “Its not safe for fans to attend games”

    “But its safe for us?”

    -NFL players
    ————
    Comparing at most 200 people in a stadium that holds 70,000 is nowhere near the same scenario as comparing 70,000 people crammed into that same space…post it already

  35. Because there are a lot of players who do not want to play but want to get paid. You will see a lot of appeals to public opinion.

  36. Things are spiking rather dramatically around the country with a dozen states reporting more daily cases than ever, and states like Texas are reporting record hospitalizations (it’s not just increased testing). There may not be a safe way to have a football season this year.

  37. “Comparing at most 200 people in a stadium that holds 70,000 is nowhere near the same scenario as comparing 70,000 people crammed into that same space…post it already”

    Now put them in a locker room.

  38. The games about safety and integrity right nfl. Cancel the season and prove it!
    _______________
    Nice post, I hear you. But the NFL is a $15B annual profit company that has spider legs into many, many other Fortune 100 companies. Cancelling a season will cause many dominoes to fall which could result in an avalanche of financial failure for the support structure. It’s real and its complicated.

  39. Nice post, I hear you. But the NFL is a $15B annual profit company that has spider legs into many, many other Fortune 100 companies. Cancelling a season will cause many dominoes to fall which could result in an avalanche of financial failure for the support structure. It’s real and its complicated. Trust me I know it’s all about money with the nfl they dont about any of us including their own players apparently.

  40. “I want to see these guys get a normal job and truly feel the working class struggle.”

    Are you talking about owners? Because if you’re talking about players, coaches and staff, often including GMs, those guys KNOW the struggle. They’ve worked their rear ends off to get to the NFL.

    Some owners may have risen from the working class, while many might have had it handed to them. But you can’t lump em all together until you know each person’s struggles.

  41. EPL is already playing games. No fans, but they pump in crowd noise and when watching on television, you can’t tell the difference. Stop being scared, take precautions, and play football.

  42. Grumpy Santa says:

    June 22, 2020 at 2:58 pm

    “Comparing at most 200 people in a stadium that holds 70,000 is nowhere near the same scenario as comparing 70,000 people crammed into that same space”

    Now put them in a locker room.
    ———
    Ok and it’s still 75 people in a room where risk is still minimized compared to 70,000 random people where you have an idea where they’ve been recently as opposed to the 75 you have a better idea of. It’s not to say theres not risk but comparing 200 people in a stadium to 70,000 is not an apt comparison. Also that locker room is more sanitary than those FedEx, Amazon and UPS buildings you and others get packages from everyday, hundreds of people stuffed in a warehouse as everyone is sweating, breathing heavily and working much much closer than 6 feet apart.

  43. FoozieGrooler says:

    June 23, 2020 at 7:59 am

    You can’t have a “second wave” if the first wave never ended.
    ——–
    Uhhh yes you can. Have you ever been to the beach? Many of times you can ride 1 in and as you think its dying a 2nd wave crashes into it. This is no different,no one is saying that it went away just that it had started to slow.

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