The NFL won’t suspend Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers for the COVID protocol violations committed before he tested positive and his secret status as unvaccinated, previously known to the NFL and the Packers, came to light. If the COVID protocol violations continue after he returns to the facility, that could change.
Here’s the relevant language from the COVID protocol, which authorizes the team or the league to impose punishment: “Repeat violations of the offenses listed above will subject players to increased discipline, including for conduct detrimental with a maximum fine amount equal to one week’s salary and/or suspension without pay for a period not to exceed four (4) weeks.”
Some would ask, “Hasn’t Rodgers already repeatedly violated the COVID protocol?” He has, but the league has informed PFT that it interprets and applies “repeat” not as “multiple.” Instead, a repeat violation arises if a player has been disciplined for a prior violation.
If the team or the league had intervened early in the season, after Rodgers first decided that he rejected the science and/or felt morally obligated to resist (while misquoting and misapplying the teachings of MLK), additional violations could have resulted in enhanced penalties. But because te team and the league were asleep at the switch and/or decided not to disturb the delicate genius, the prior violations don’t become “repeat” violations, in the eyes of the league.
Bottom line? Unless he gets vaccinated, Rodgers must comply with all protocols when he returns. If he doesn’t, additional violations will be “repeat” violations — and he eventually could be suspended.