Oakley spent plenty of time and effort creating a face shield for 2020. Now Oakley has to find players who will actually wear it.
His basic reasoning for it was simple: “Just because I don’t know what it is supposed to do.”
He said that he hadn’t seen any of his teammates using it, and that he “highly doubt[s]” that he’ll use it, given that he already wear a visor.
Johnson, like others, has concerns about the impact of the face shield on his breathing.
“It might,” Johnson said. “So that’s why I don’t even want to dabble with it. If it was close to 100 percent in protecting me, then maybe I would wear it. But I don’t see how that’s going to help anything, so I’m not going to wear it.”
The message from Johnson’s comments is clear: The NFL hasn’t done enough to explain the benefit of wearing the face shield. If that had happened, Johnson would know specifically how it would help.
Indeed, if it were a truly critical component for the limitation of the spread of the virus, the NFL would have (or should have) found a way to make wearing it mandatory. But the NFL believes that the playing of games will entail a low risk of virus transmission, since the games aren’t played in a confined space.
The mere fact that the NFL felt compelled to develop a face shield contradicts its confidence in the difficulty of transmitting the virus during games. Maybe the NFL doesn’t want to further undermine its belief that the risks of on-field transmission are low by harping on the potential benefits to using a face shield.
Regardless, for as hard as it may be to transmit the virus during games, it’s even harder to find someone who is willing to wear a face shield.