Does the NFL care about the potential problem of fake vaccination cards?

USA TODAY Sports

The NFL is notoriously reactive, not proactive. The enforcement, or lack thereof, of the league’s COVID protocols becomes the latest example of this reality.

Consider the Aaron Rodgers situation. The league knew that he wasn’t vaccinated, and the league knew that he was repeatedly violating protocol by showing up for indoor press conferences without a mask. And the league did nothing. If Rodgers hadn’t tested positive 16 days ago, he’d still be showing up for indoor press conferences without a mask, and his protocol violations arising from unauthorized parties and gatherings would be happening without incident.

Now that the long-simmer suspicions regarding fake vaccination cards have reached full boil, the NFL will take action, because it has to. Still, the NFL knew or should have known that players potentially supplied fake vaccination cards. It’s too easy to forge one. It’s also extremely easy to prove that a card is fake.

As explained last night, a phone call to the provider of the vaccination would confirm or debunk the information supplied regarding name of patient, date of injection(s), and lot number. Those calls already should have been made, by every team as to every vaccination card. Now that the league is clearly and obviously on notice about the reality of fake vaccination cards, those calls should be made.

And not by the teams. They’ve had a full and fair chance to handle the issue properly. At this point, the league should insist that images of all vaccination cards be surrendered by the teams, so that the league can commence the process of confirming the veracity, or not, of every single vaccination card.

It will take time. It will take effort. It may require spending the money to engage an outside firm that will make the calls, or that will provide temporary workers to do the job. Regardless, if the NFL truly cares about the issue, the NFL will do it.

The inverse is also true. If the NFL doesn’t care about the potential problem of fake vaccination cards, it won’t do it. It will do the bare minimum or perhaps nothing at all. At most, it will hammer Antonio Brown, if it turns out that the vaccination card he showed to the team in July was fake.

Here’s the reality. If it’s a major scandal entailing, say, dozens of fake cards or more, the NFL won’t want to admit that it allowed the situation to arise. Thus, the league won’t do whatever it has to do to get to the bottom of the situation. The more fake cards the NFL finds, the worse the NFL will look for allowing cards to be faked — and for not taking action long before the first report surfaced of a player actually having a fake card.

50 responses to “Does the NFL care about the potential problem of fake vaccination cards?

  1. Feel like it’s a pretty easy no. Barely cared about Rodgers why would they care about fake cards? The existence of fake cards makes the nfl look bad so why not just sweep it under the rug and call it a day?

  2. Answer to the question, no the NFL didn’t care about face vaccination cards prior to the allegation against Antonio Brown.

    I doubt any employers are doing the type of confirmation that is laid out above.

  3. I have never believed the amount of “breakthrough” cases were legitimate. The cynic in my always thought these were people who didn’t want to admit they got COVID after thinking they wouldn’t need the vaccine.

  4. The provider of the vaccination should have no legal right whatsoever to provide that information to any party without the person’s consent. Doing so should be illegal and I would hope the person would sue the provider.

  5. You’re right, they wont want it public, and therefore likely wont take much of an action or even investigation.
    Imo, they should offer a 1 time league-wide amnesty for players that committed this fraud if a) they get vaccinated this week and agree to get the 2nd when able (subject to revocation of this amnesty if they don’t).
    To add teeth to this they need to drop the hammer with something like a 6 game suspension for committing such a fraud as submitting fake medical documents. 6 mo feels like a gift over submitting for criminal prosecution, because that is a fraud.

  6. The league doesnt care about fake cards. They want the ability to say X% is vaccinated, whether it is true or not. Plausible Deniability is real

  7. Let’s see. How many people will reveal their misinterpretation of HIPAA in the comments today? I figure +3 is a good place to start taking bets.

  8. It doesn’t care about super spreader events in COVID rich states like Minnesota, why would it care about vaccination cards?

  9. I have said in previous scandals that the NFL will protect itself. It’s the reason why they had the teams verifying the legitimacy of the cards. And, if it is revealed that a team didn’t do their due diligence on the cards, the error falls on the team and not the NFL. So then, the NFL will go into protection mode, just as they did for the Washington Football Team and the Packers.

  10. anyone caught fabricating a vaccine card should pay a very heavy price.
    if one of htem has a long history in his past maybe he should be gone, period.

  11. I would like someone to roughly calculate the man hours required to do that for EVERY SINGLE PLAYER

  12. I think any employee, anywhere, any occupation, should be fired immediately if they pass a fake vaccination card. They can re-apply in inety-days, after they’ve been vaccinated. I’m speculating a good number of problematic employees would not be re-considered for employment. Trouble finds troublesome people. It’s just as much my freedom to fire them as it is their freedom to whine about it.

  13. So here we are. The government and media went on an all out blitz to pressurize players to be vaccinated. What everyone “should” be doing. And now look at this. The players faked the NFL out. If there’s one, there’s probably hundreds. Star players, included. No way NFL touches this. Question becomes, will players eventually speak out about what they did and why they didn’t choose to be jabbed?

  14. How long until the booster shots will be required? Are players/staff going to be needing them every 6 months? This virus is here to stay

  15. antivaxxerssuck says:
    November 19, 2021 at 11:07 am
    Let’s see. How many people will reveal their misinterpretation of HIPAA in the comments today? I figure +3 is a good place to start taking bets.
    __________

    I find it extremely interesting that the unvaccinated want to hide behind HIPAA. These people don’t believe in getting treated by real doctors, so they shouldn’t have any medical records to worry about keeping private.

  16. For the record:

    Q: Does the HIPAA Privacy Rule prohibit businesses or individuals from asking whether their customers or clients have received a COVID-19 vaccine?

    A: No. The Privacy Rule does not prohibit any person (e.g., an individual or an entity such as a business), including HIPAA covered entities and business associates, from asking whether an individual has received a particular vaccine, including COVID-19 vaccines.

    First, the Privacy Rule applies only to covered entities (health plans, health care clearinghouses, and health care providers that conduct standard electronic transactions) and, to some extent, their business associates.5

    Second, the Privacy Rule does not regulate the ability of covered entities and business associates to request information from patients or visitors. Rather, the Privacy Rule regulates how and when covered entities and business associates are permitted to use6 and disclose7 protected health information8 (PHI) (e.g., PHI about whether an individual has received a COVID-19 vaccine) that covered entities and business associates create, receive, maintain, or transmit. Thus, the Privacy Rule does not prohibit a covered entity (e.g., a covered doctor, hospital, or health plan) or business associate from asking whether an individual (e.g., a patient or visitor) has received a particular vaccine, including COVID-19 vaccines, although it does regulate how and when a covered entity or its business associate may use or disclose information about an individual’s vaccination status.

  17. Just like how the nfl did a sham investigation into Snyder. They weren’t doing it to actually hold him accountable. They were doing it to prevent anyone from holding him accountable.

  18. They should be able to knock this verification process out by next week. There is a verification apparatus already in place in the NFL. It is absolutely essential that players and teams be subjected to impactful (punitive) fines for the presumably unintended negligence by the teams and the intentionally fraudulent acts of the players. Just what the heck were these folks thinking???

  19. No. The league only cares about making 32 billionaires richer. It is the ONLY motivation behind every decision it makes.

  20. Goodell doesn’t care, the owners don’t want him to care.
    OR
    “I’m only saying this so I get paid.”

  21. ee00ee says:
    November 19, 2021 at 11:02 am
    You’re right, they wont want it public, and therefore likely wont take much of an action or even investigation.
    Imo, they should offer a 1 time league-wide amnesty for players that committed this fraud if a) they get vaccinated this week and agree to get the 2nd when able (subject to revocation of this amnesty if they don’t).
    To add teeth to this they need to drop the hammer with something like a 6 game suspension for committing such a fraud as submitting fake medical documents. 6 mo feels like a gift over submitting for criminal prosecution, because that is a fraud.

    —————————————————-

    I love this solution – it just (hopefully) nips the problem in the bud and moves forward in a (hopefully) positive direction. But I fear that this proposal contains far too much common sense to ever survive in a corporate environment.

  22. stellarperformance says:
    November 19, 2021 at 11:15 am
    For the record:

    Q: Does the HIPAA Privacy Rule prohibit businesses or individuals from asking whether their customers or clients have received a COVID-19 vaccine?

    A: No. The Privacy Rule does not prohibit any person (e.g., an individual or an entity such as a business), including HIPAA covered entities and business associates, from asking whether an individual has received a particular vaccine, including COVID-19 vaccines.

    First, the Privacy Rule applies only to covered entities (health plans, health care clearinghouses, and health care providers that conduct standard electronic transactions) and, to some extent, their business associates.5

    Second, the Privacy Rule does not regulate the ability of covered entities and business associates to request information from patients or visitors. Rather, the Privacy Rule regulates how and when covered entities and business associates are permitted to use6 and disclose7 protected health information8 (PHI) (e.g., PHI about whether an individual has received a COVID-19 vaccine) that covered entities and business associates create, receive, maintain, or transmit. Thus, the Privacy Rule does not prohibit a covered entity (e.g., a covered doctor, hospital, or health plan) or business associate from asking whether an individual (e.g., a patient or visitor) has received a particular vaccine, including COVID-19 vaccines, although it does regulate how and when a covered entity or its business associate may use or disclose information about an individual’s vaccination status.
    ____________

    This is way too much information for the anti-vaxxers to understand. After all, Tucker and Rogan have told them that HIPAA covers everything. They won’t bother to try to comprehend anything else.

  23. To the comment on providers not providing details would that extend to if a person fraudulently claimed treatment? Is it as simple for any fake cards for the provider to say we did not provide this person the treatment documented? All of that in context I look back to when I got vaccinated the verification process was limited at best and if a player really wanted to avoid getting vaccinated but claim that status they could have pretty easily sent a ‘stand in’ to take the shot for them….a vaccine proxy so to speak.

  24. You’re asking the wrong question. It should be “how will a fake vaccination card scandal affect the NFL’s bottom line?”. Because the NFL isn’t about anything other than making money, and everything it does hinges on that.

  25. “I would like someone to roughly calculate the man hours required to do that for EVERY SINGLE PLAYER”

    Not very much really. A few minutes for each player by a team employee. For the full preseason roster of 90 should be able to do that easily in a single day.

  26. No and neither should we im quite sure this has been happening since last year with ALL teams. The King Aaron got a little slap on the wrist so what does the NFL expect??

  27. Only thing the NFL cares about is 💲💶💰💶💰 making it and spending as little as possible

  28. More importantly faking a vaccination card is a crime. Using or selling a fake COVID-19 vaccine card is illegal. The FBI said in March that falsifying a federal seal is a federal crime. Vaccine cards have two federal seals: one from the CDC and one from HHS. Forging either of these is a violation that could carry a fine and up to five years in prison.

  29. If multiple players are caught with fake vaccination cards(felony crime), I can see the government probing the NFL, which would be very bad for the NFL.

  30. The NFL doesn’t care about fake cards. Even if it started making phone calls, as suggested in the above post, who’s to say the NFL will always get accurate information from the person fielding the call? Especially if that person is a fan of the team or player in question. What’s to stop that person from lying to cover up the fact there’s no valid record for the player in question? How can the NFL really verify players are vaccinated?

  31. Just like the double secret pentolites it solely depends on the team. Teams and players like Aaron and Green Bay, KC and Pitt that are protected teams and get preferential treatment that would be a hard no. Other teams for similar actions that have lost draft picks that would be a definite yes.

  32. Players with fake vaccination cards–and there undoubtedly are some–should get vaccinated now, while this is all still with the teams. Chances are, if you go in now with a legit card, the team will sweep the whole thing under the rug, and the League office would be glad about it. I wouldn’t be surprised if teams were given the word to give the message to their players to fix the situation ASAP if they had a fake card, letting them know if they let a fake stand there would be severe consequences.

    As far as AB goes, I don’t know what to think. A fake card is just the kind of stupid thing he would do. On the other hand, his lawyer says he’s willing to get his booster on live broadcast. I’m not sure we lowly fans will ever find out the truth on this.

  33. Everyone saying it’s not privileged information should post their vaccination card online. Then ask their brother-in-law why they aren’t vaccinated.

  34. The NFL’s goal is to minimize Covid infections that prevent games from being played.

    They can do that by asking people to be vaccinated OR having them follow more stringent protocols. They allow unvaccinated participation.

    There is no data suggesting hundreds of faked cards and infections within teams have not prevented games from being played. I think the NFL will only investigate people who catch the disease and have been vaccinated. I do think there will be significant fines for those caught.

  35. This should be a 4 games suspension at least. Because Tom Brady was suspended that much for maybe having football deflated and the deceit following.

    This is compromising the safety of players and staff and blatantly deceitful.

    And believe me I dont say that because Im a big Brady fan. I just want some consistency and for discipline to make sense. Their uniform police is working harder then the covid rules police it doesnt make sense.

  36. The NFL’s top priority is to make sure games are played.

    In 2020 there was much more potential for games being cancelled and you saw the league watching team security footage big-brother style. Players would walk up to their locker and find a fine from the league for not wearing their mask from the lunch room to the locker room.

    In 2021, the fear of games being cancelled is significantly lower. This year, the teams are expected to enforce the NFL’s covid rules themselves.

    Without the risk of games being cancelled, the NFL isn’t going to put the time and money into overseeing the enforcement of these rules.

  37. As of right now the NFL should not care since they’ve done the bare minimum before it becomes babysitting adults. Now if this was a year ago when the last presidential administration was looking for any reason to take them down I’d have a different answer but the governments priorities are slightly less erratic in 2021.

  38. Many companies are now requiring proof of vaccination. My company requires employees to provide information about the vaccinations, a picture of the vaccine card, and an agreement that if the information provided is fake, that they could be fired.

    Everyone in the building will be vaccinated, so we can all get back to some semblance of normal.

  39. The NFL doesn’t care about anything…until it makes them look bad. They don’t care about the incompetent officiating and so they fine anyone who says anything about it….but don’t do anything about fixing the problem. It’s what the NFL does.

  40. As long as the money keeps flowing in, the NFL doesn’t care about this or any other potential PR nightmare. Let’s face it…we all love NFL football, scandals and all, we will continue to follow it, go to /watch games, buy merchandise, and visit the sites that cover it ,no matter how the league handles these issues, and they know it.

  41. remizak says:
    November 19, 2021 at 12:15 pm

    As far as AB goes, I don’t know what to think. A fake card is just the kind of stupid thing he would do. On the other hand, his lawyer says he’s willing to get his booster on live broadcast. I’m not sure we lowly fans will ever find out the truth on this.

    ——

    seems to me he’d be at the top of the list of people who would have broadcast videos of himself getting the original shots.

  42. They’re not going to verify all the cards. They don’t actually care. All the employer mandates out there are about protecting themselves from liability, not a strict enforcement of vaccination status.

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