NFL’s chief medical officer explains why face coverings are “not optional”

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The NFL proved it is serious about making head coaches wear face coverings on the sideline. Pete Carroll, Kyle Shanahan, Vic Fangio, Sean Payton and Jon Gruden found that out the hard way.

The NFL docked those five coaches $100,000 each and fined each of their teams $250,000.

The question many are asking is: Why does the NFL require face coverings when the coaches take daily COVID-19 tests? They presumably have tested negative for the coronavirus if they are on the sideline.

“First and foremost, it’s part of our agreed upon protocol between the league and the NFL Players Association,” Dr. Allen Sills, the NFL’s chief medical officer, said, via Judy Battista of NFL Media. “So it’s not optional for people to follow that protocol, right? All of the parts of that protocol are mandatory. But getting to the philosophy behind it, we’ve said consistently testing is not what keeps us safe. Tests are important, but no test is perfect. We do have those false positives and false negatives, so it is possible that you could have a negative test result and still be infected. In those cases, the face coverings are very important. So we think it’s just another step that’s important in risk-mitigation. I’ll also say that some of the public health authorities have mandated that sideline personnel wear face coverings in their stadiums in their locations. So for all those reasons, it’s not something that’s optional for us.”

So whether coaches like it or not, they will have to wear face coverings on the sideline or pay stiff fines for not adhering to NFL protocol.

35 responses to “NFL’s chief medical officer explains why face coverings are “not optional”

  1. Well if thats the case the NFLPA needs to do the right thing and scratch the mask part of the agreement.

  2. If our leadership advised us all to wear masks and social distanced back in March, we wouldn’t be in this mess

  3. So far, so good. The rules are working really good so far, so don’t abandon them. I’m a football junkie and I love NFL football. Don’t let a few careless people blow it for everyone.

  4. joenomouth says:
    September 23, 2020 at 8:29 pm

    Chief medical officer giving no actual medical explanations, typical.

    ———————-

    Yeah, It’s all part of the huge plot & conspiracy to keep fans out of the stadiums and drive down the NFL’s revenue.
    They’ve been trying for years to figure out a way to keep fans from attending games.

  5. These coaches block their mouths all game with a play sheet, they should be excited at the idea of wearing face coverings

  6. If players can get fined for not tucking in their shirts, then coaches sure as hell should be fined for not following protocols.

  7. So why was the refs able to huddle up and yank their mask down while they were about 2 ft apart on Monday night?

  8. Penalize any team with a non-player person that is not wearing a mask with a 15 yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. That will get the head coaches attention very quickly.

  9. Makes perfect sense. In all fairness, Troy Aikman should retract his careless statement that the NFL was making some kind of “political statement.” The protocols are working, and the owners don’t want the season or their bank accounts interrupted. Frankly, I’m glad the NFL is back. Now mask up and let’s ball!

  10. charliecharger says:
    September 23, 2020 at 8:51 pm

    So far, so good. The rules are working really good so far, so don’t abandon them. I’m a football junkie and I love NFL football. Don’t let a few careless people blow it for everyone.

    —————————————————————————-

    Exactly! Stay the course.

  11. I want to know why NIOSH rated and certified N-95 masks are not required, which is what the WHO and CDC specify asd effective.

    Instead just any face “covering” is allowed — regardless of effectiveness??? What protection does that guarantee a player? What example does that set for the public?

  12. The NFL has done everything they could to make the season happen, spending who knows how many millions per team, they aren’t risking those dollars so coaches can yell better.

  13. Players and coaches are both tested. Players get REAL close to each other without masks; coaches don’t get close to anyone and now must wear masks when they are in the heat of the moment trying to communicate to everyone: players, other coaches, referees. And communication is more than just voice (which a mask muffles) and eyes; it is the whole face.
    This is all about TV optics and PC to show the audience how important masks are…

  14. They players and all staff still get tested every day correct? And the get the results that day, so it is not like it is a guess. From what we know you can pass the virus without symptoms, but you also test positive before symptoms if you have. If you test negative you just don’t have it. So if they are tested every day and are negative there is no reason for them to wear a mask. It is only for looks.

  15. If the those are the rules, those are the rules. I actually think Payton and Gurden should have got hit twice as hard since the the NFL has already announced fines prior to last night’s game. The two of them just brazenly and knowingly broke the rules.

    Sure the coaches can afford it, but I bet the owners are ticked off. $250k with no fan revenue gets expensive quickly!

  16. Do the Refs ever get in trouble for not wearing their masks properly? I saw some pretty poor displays from them this past weekend.

  17. seahawkcritique says:
    September 23, 2020 at 10:56 pm
    I want to know why NIOSH rated and certified N-95 masks are not required, which is what the WHO and CDC specify asd effective.

    Instead just any face “covering” is allowed — regardless of effectiveness??? What protection does that guarantee a player? What example does that set for the public?

    —————————

    None to a player. But it does guarantee a coach not to be docked $100,000. That is it. Also, if we’re seriously looking to NFL coaches for an example, we’re in a sadder state of affairs than I had thought.

  18. seahawkcritique says:
    September 23, 2020 at 10:56 pm
    I want to know why NIOSH rated and certified N-95 masks are not required, which is what the WHO and CDC specify asd effective.

    Instead just any face “covering” is allowed — regardless of effectiveness??? What protection does that guarantee a player? What example does that set for the public?

    ~~~~

    I don’t know why people still don’t get it. The mask is to protect OTHERS from YOU. If YOU are infectious the mask will drastically reduce the chance you could infect someone else. If you go back and read his explanation that is what he’s saying. The masks are the second line of defense if there was a test error and it was negative and should have been positive. It does happen.

  19. I have no problem with their protocols, or with fining coaches/teams. But, if the agreement is between the league and the NFLPA, how do the coaches fit into that? They aren’t part of the players’ association, are they? Or, do they just fall under the agreement as employees of the team? I am not trying to be argumentative, but just legitimately curious how this fits.

  20. txtuff says:
    September 24, 2020 at 12:25 am
    They players and all staff still get tested every day correct? And the get the results that day, so it is not like it is a guess. From what we know you can pass the virus without symptoms, but you also test positive before symptoms if you have. If you test negative you just don’t have it. So if they are tested every day and are negative there is no reason for them to wear a mask. It is only for looks.

    Did you even bother to read the article?

  21. Why don’t the players wear masks? What about the anouncers and refs? Everybody needs the face shield like Andy Reid.

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