May 18, 2021

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NFL and NFLPA Discussing OPT-OUT Scenario Due to COVID-19 Concerns

3 min read

The year 2020 has been nothing short of a wash. With everything going on in the world with Social Injustice and Viral Pandemics and Disease-Ridden Epidemics, I am so ready for next year as are many others are as well.

The Sport’s world has been rocked by the spread of COVID-19, in early 2020, and now with this second wave in full force, the Sport’s world is going to have a tough time getting back on track to complete all, if any, of the 2020 season. With the other major sports such as the MLB, NBA, and NHL all taking steps to begin or restart their seasons, we’ve seen a rise in players and staff testing positive for COVID-19. With the rise in cases comes the rise of players wanting the chance to opt-out of playing this year, altogether. The Los Angeles Times has produced a list of notable players that have opted out of playing this season; due to concerns over the 2019 Novel Coronavirus. One notable star that is very familiar to fans in Tampa Bay is former Rays’– now with the Dodgers’ – Pitcher, David Price. Due to concerns for his family amid this second wave, Price opted out of playing this season.

“After considerable thought and discussion with my family and the Dodgers, I have decided it is in the best interest of my health and my family’s health for me to not play this season,” stated Price, whose two children are under the age of 4. “I will miss my teammates and will be cheering for them throughout the season and on to a World Series victory. I’m sorry I won’t be playing for you this year, but look forward to representing you next year.” – Los Angels Times.

As we head into training camp in the next few weeks, concerns for COVID-19 safety protocols are being discussed by the NFL and the NFLPA, and recently, the NFL has decided to void the first and the last games of the preseason to limit travel and exposure to the virus. However, the NFLPA has voted to remove all the preseason games due to the risk of players contracting the 2019 Novel Coronavirus in games that do not count towards the team’s record and having teams go directly from training camp straight into the regular season. Other measures have been discussed such as; fan safety, limiting seating by removal of the first 6-8 rows, and having those that attend sign a waiver in order to enter the stadium, to players possibly wearing masks, to now the NFL and NFLPA are in discussions of an Opt-out clause for players who do not wish to play this season due health concerns pertaining to COVID-19.

There is no question that the safety and the well being of anyone attending any NFL activity is a major concern and will be handled with extreme care. I am sure there will be NFL this year just how much is still up in the air. Regardless of what does happen, one thing is for sure, 2020 will be a year many will want to forget.

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