With the NFL and NFL Players Association striking a historic, on-the-fly CBA that covers 2020 and beyond, the two sides have come up with a way to ensure that players will practice personal responsibility in a pandemic.
Per multiple sources, the deal specifically prohibits players from engaging in certain behaviors this season. Players cannot attend indoor night clubs, indoor bars (except to pickup food), indoor house parties (with 15 or more people), indoor concerts, professional sporting events, or indoor church services that allow attendance above 25 percent of capacity.
Players can be fined for violating these rules. Moreover, if they test positive after engaging in prohibited activities, they will not be paid for the games they miss. Also, future guarantees in their contracts would be voided.
It will be interesting to see how teams enforce the rules. Some may use security officials to monitor local establishments or to track the behavior of players. Others may rely on contacts within the community to contact the team if/when violations are witnessed. Some may set up an NBA-style tip line.
As one source said on Saturday morning, “Every player should delete social media.”
Ultimately, the goal will be to avoid having players violate the rules and, in turn, to prevent them from testing positive and otherwise bringing the virus to the team. This will require coaches and team leaders to be very direct and clear regarding the behavior away from work that will be regarded as acceptable.
The teams that can best communicate that message, and that can best ensure compliance from all players, will be the ones most likely to minimize outbreaks.