Report: NFL may require fans to sign a COVID-19 waiver

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The NFL wants fans to be able to attend games during a pandemic. The NFL doesn’t want to be responsible for what may happen to fans who attend games during a pandemic.

Daniel Kaplan of reports that the league is considering a requirement that fans sign liability waivers protecting the league from lawsuits based on contracting COVID-19. The potential waiver “likely” will be forwarded to teams by the middle of next week.

“It is probably something you do electronically, just trying to figure out the operational challenges associated with waivers,” an unnamed source told Kaplan. “Just have to work out how best to do that.”

Although no waiver is necessary as to the question of whether fans who attend games assume the risk of catching the virus (indeed, anyone and everyone with any amount of sense and awareness knows about the virus by now), the question becomes whether teams and stadiums can or will take reasonable steps to protect fans from getting it. And the problem is that, if someone catches it, they’ll be inclined to argue that, whatever the teams or stadiums did, it clearly wasn’t good enough.

That said, it will be difficult to prove that a fan caught the virus at the game, even if there’s evidence of negligence or recklessness by teams and stadiums.

With so many unresolved issues still percolating in the NFL as it tries to figure out how to accomplish the 2020 season, I’d rather see the NFL spending time and effort resolving the various challenges than coming up with ways to escape liability to paying customers, especially if teams and stadiums eventually engage in behavior for which they should be held liable.

Put another way, the league should be spending its time focusing on insisting on fan wearing masks to games instead of insisting on fans signing away their rights.

72 responses to “Report: NFL may require fans to sign a COVID-19 waiver

  1. Definitely masks should be required. Does it also make sense to have fans, stadium workers, etc. bring proof that they tested negatively before entering stadium?

  2. Here we go, its all about the money and it always has been all about the money, human life is secondary when it comes to billionaires and their cash!

  3. Tens of thousands of people eating, drinking, and yelling. Even if everyone had a mask, they would likely only be covering their faces a fraction of the time.

  4. Who in their right mind would even go to a game this fall? It was already a huge hassle from traffic to parking to prices… now add a novel coronavirus to the list. I’ll be at home, watching it on TV.

  5. Just cancel the season. The league is going to look really bad when they end up delaying it in mid October. If it’s not safe for the fans, it’s definitely not safe for the players.

  6. So thats the plan to scalp the ticket holder. If that’s the case I better get my season package at a discount. If teams are juggling training camps and limiting how many employees can enter their facility how can they justify 80,000 sitting on a pile, fighting at concession stands and sharing rest room.

  7. “Put another way, the league should be spending its time focusing on insisting on fan wearing masks to games instead of insisting on fans signing away their rights.”

    Pretty sure the league is big enough TO DO BOTH. It’s not “one or the other”-type of situation…

  8. No organization at any level should be legally liable for a highly contagious virus. That’s what health insurance is for. It’s unfortunate that such waivers have to exist for the future idiots who will no doubt file lawsuits trying to make a buck anyway they can. This is America after all.

  9. collectordude says:
    July 1, 2020 at 5:26 pm
    No mask.
    No waiver.
    No ticket.

  10. You can get masks with your team’s logo on it. The teams should give those out to attending fans.

  11. Listen to all the Debbie downers here, if people want to go and sign waivers then they should be able to go, while you’re at home shaking like a leaf in the wind under your bed covers.

  12. There’s NO WAY I’m going anywhere that wants me to sign a waiver. That means they know something that I should know. So no way, no how, no thanks.

  13. It’s a football game for crying out loud. No fan is being forced to go.

    We all need to be sensible during a pandemic. Waiver unnecessary.

  14. How stupid. I work in the Aicu and have seen people die of this. You can sign a waver all you want but what about the people you can give it to after you get it? Pretty sure they didn’t sign no waiver. Stupidity at its finest.

  15. If there weren’t rats all over our society that have no problems with frivolous lawsuits, then there wouldn’t be a need for waivers.

  16. Sign a waiver to protect billionaire’s? “Hello McFly” there is not going to be a season this year.

  17. They want us to sign a waiver but they still haven’t given us the option of opting out? They say players will have the option of opting out, yet haven’t offered the same to the fans. I fully expect the Seahawks to follow what some other teams are doing but it should have already been done.

  18. Even the most iron clad waivers have loop holes…

    A waiver may deter some from filing a claim or going to suit but, in reality, every team that opens its doors will likely settle several claims related to COVID this upcoming season either in or out of court…

  19. So on top of hundreds of dollars for tickets, expensive parking, and hot dogs and cokes that cost as much as fine dining you now have to sign a legal form too? Sunday Ticket is about to make a fortune.

  20. sylvester000001 says:
    July 1, 2020 at 6:16 pm

    If there weren’t rats all over our society that have no problems with frivolous lawsuits, then there wouldn’t be a need for waivers.


    Excuse me. NOT “frivolous” to the plaintiffs. Only to defendants trying to duck liability.

  21. I’m sure we’ll have to sign waivers when our kids go back to school too. I have no problem with that. I love lawyers. How long does it take you to sign your name, anyway?

  22. C’MON they wouldn’t be anymore responsible than if they caught the flu at a game!

  23. electricboogalo says:
    July 1, 2020 at 5:55 pm
    You can get masks with your team’s logo on it. The teams should give those out to attending fans.

    Why when they can make a buck on them.

  24. Was there ever any doubt that this would occur given the situation? The first fan who catches it at a game and dies or takes out another life will be finding a lawyer the next day. It would be negligent NOT to have one.

  25. All this is adding up to see ya in 2021. Maybe. You gotta laugh at all the spur of the moment scrambling the league is doing to minimize the money loss. Advertising on first 8 rows of empty seats. Having lots outside available to tailgate but stadiums empty. What’s next? For the low cost of $49.99 you can have a picture taken with a cardboard cutout of your favorite player?

  26. Gunther Ruderschmidt says:
    July 1, 2020 at 5:35 pm
    Where do I sign…

    12 48


    Bill Burr has invited you on to a free cruise out of Florida. You should take him up on it.

  27. If you are dumb enough to be attending football games this year, then there is no way in the world the league should be responsible if you get sick and possibly die….thats on you. Watch it at home on TV, like most of us have been doing forever.

    Attending games live is a royal pain anyway. I havent been to a game since about 1994 and I dont miss the “live” experience at all.

  28. Well then the NFL shouldn’t be surprised if they have a ton of empty seats. Even people who claim it’s no big deal are going to think hard before buying tickets. If the owners then seek a bail out from the federal government they should be told to go pound sand.

  29. I’ve decided that in the end this whole thing is going to increase the overall avg IQ of the human population.

  30. This waiver will never stand up in court. Waivers are mainly to dissuade people into thinking the would have no legal case.

    The fact is, by even requiring a waiver, the NFL is acknowledging the existence of the threat. And while, that may have legal legs with the individual fan who signs and attends, it doesnt mean anything to those the compromised by getting infected by that fan when they go home or to work.

    If the NFL thinks this is a good idea, just wait and see lawyers having a field day with contact tracing on behalf of all those affected who never signed up for anything.

  31. I have been thinking this is the new normal anyway. I am sure if you go see any concerts send your kids back to school or just about anything you will need to sign up.

  32. You couldnt pay me to go to a game. I’ve got a wife and kids. I’m not going to a game and get sprayed by thousands of fans yelling and spitting (which is their absolute right) and bring it back to our house.

  33. I’m guessing any event like this will require a waiver for the foreseeable future, because every time there’s a gathering there will be new cases. Personally, I’ll be watching on my big TV set if the season even happens. Even in the best of times, the viewing experience on TV beats the hell out of the 5-hour hassle of attending in person.

  34. Good luck enforcing a mask requirement at a sporting event. Sure, they can be required upon entry but most will be removed thereafter.

  35. You don’t need a waiver the Federal Government already signed a law that prevents ANY AND All LAWSUITS stemming from the Corona virus, and that extends to Doctors, and Businesses, and the NFL is a Business so no worries…Let’s get the games started if you’re scared stay home

  36. Legally, they have no choice but to require a waiver. How could they have anyone in the stands without a signed waiver from all attendees?

  37. collectordude says:
    July 1, 2020 at 5:26 pm
    No mask.
    No waiver.

    No sense.

  38. Makes sense. If you don’t want to sign a waiver, don’t go to a game. I highly doubt all the doomsdayers here will venture anywhere near a football stadium. That is fine and a choice. So is going to the games. Why is there a portion of society who believes they have the right to control everyone’s lives? The same question always comes after that question. “What gives you the right to get sick and pass it on to someone else?”. The answer to that is simple. Life is full of risk. Life is dangerous. Driving to work or the grocery store has risk. Taking a shower has risk. Almost everyone is exposed to risk every day. Fear should not control people. It is sad to see.

  39. So, the NFL views waivers as a viable option to mitigate potential lawsuits? Great. Draw up some waivers involving the actual game of football, have all players sign it in order to get any contract approved. Then drop all the fake safety rules and let’s get back to actual football again. As for the fan waivers, not feasible. There is no way to prove that they contracted it at the game or if they walked in and infected countless others. There is also no way that shady lawyers will accept any waiver as valid no matter how ironclad it may be. The lawsuits are usually designed to win a settlement, not a court case. The NFL will be spending the same amount whether there is a waiver or not.

  40. I could care less. I will not be going to any games even if there is a vaccination available. Why take the chance of getting COVID because I went to a sporting event. I have much more important things to worry about. Just My Opinion.

  41. This is where we as a society now. Coffee cups have warnings, cars have warning to wear seat belt… it’s all CYA because the courts can’t tell stupid people that they wear stupid. Blame the lawyers…

  42. Do people still seriously think this is no worse than the flu???? No wonder the US is one the worst hit countries in the world with terrible attitudes like that.

    Also, $100 says the nfl won’t issue refunds to those who refuse to sign the waiver

  43. “…indemnify and hold harmless the NFL, it’s employees, affiliates etc, etc and so on and so forth..”

    The same waiver will probably have to be signed by players, coaches, staff and ancillary employees. It’s just not being bandied about in the press yet

    Puh – lease. Someone already pointed out how difficult going to these games are already. It’s like Cuban said, the NFL will collapse under it’s own bloated weight.

    We’ll all watch on TV like 99% of fans do anyway

  44. my high school daughter needed waivers signed for her club soccer season so that makes sense

  45. You have to do the hard yards if you want to get back to normal.

    Lead the world, show how great the US still is- wear masks, stay at home- beat this thing.

    There is SO much time before football season to get back on track. When are you all going to start?

  46. Someone boasting about a willingness to sign a waiver to send his kids back to school amidst a horribly managed pandemic should not have spawned.

  47. You people actually think there’s gonna be football this year??? If it’s not safe for fans to gather in the stands how can it be safe for 22 players to tackle and pile onto each other 90 times per game????

  48. The NFL is delusional if they think any fans will be in the stadiums this year. Look at what is going on right now in Arizona, Texas and Florida. North Jersey hopefully has gotten its act gather, but there is no way the governor is going to let them fill up that stadium.

    My bet is the season will start, but will get suspended at some point.

    What happens, say, when a team’s entire secondary or offensive line gets the virus? Are you going to make the team play a game under those circumstances? Make them forfeit?

    The NFL season will get suspended just like what happened to hockey and basketball.

  49. Let’s see, $40 parking, $150+ ticket, $12 beer, $8 hot dog, massive traffic to and from the game to watch millionaires protest during the anthem and now the chance to contract coivid-19……really? What is wrong with people?

  50. Fans may still sue and claim that they were coerced into signing the agreement.

  51. So the NFL may have the nerve to make paying fans sign a waiver to attend games for so-called safety, but the NFL can’t make players sign a waiver or at least put it in writing in NFL contracts that playing football is known to be dangerous for a players long term health and well being so they won’t be or can’t be held responsible legally for what happens to a player health wise? Basically, we know football is dangerous, we are letting you know now, and if you really want to play for crazy amounts of cash we are not legally responsible for what happens now or in the future to you. Just when you think you have seen the max stupidity level from the NFL, they turn around and find a way to one up the stupid one more notch.

  52. The intelligence of deniers is stupefying. Trump should’ve made mask-wearing a federal mandate across the board ON DAY ONE. A good leader would’ve. You’d think a stable genius could figure it out. We’d have our schools, football, restaurants, and movie houses back by now. Oh, tractor pulls and hog rasslin’ and gator tossin’ would be safe again too. All of it. Thanks deniers!

  53. All of this seems like a colossally stupid idea. Sometimes you can really tell that however the NFL owners obtained their billions, they are probably idiots in other walks of life.

  54. A lot of people would be willing to put their lives at risk to get the chance to see Chase Young and Dwayne Haskins play in person. Given how good they are, it is hard to fault them. Come to think of it — give me the damn form.

  55. This has not been done in the past for influenza. Further, does not each and every ticket to any event proclaim the risk of anything happening is on the purchaser?

    According to the CDC the overall death rate from Covid 19 is 0.26%. So sure, make people sign a waiver.

  56. another trump trope. A waiver, not signed as an actual contract, notarized by both parties is as good as that paper that comes on rolls with trump’s face printed on it.


  57. Good idea, let the same brainless people who refuse to wear masks sign away their rights.

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