As the National Football League prepares for the 2020 playing season, the League office has issued some new rules for the players game day protocols. The protocols are part of an eleven page memorandum sent to the teams.
After playing hard nosed football for 60 minutes in some very close quarters, the League has mandated that players cannot interact with each other any closer than six feet.
For a number of years players who respected or admired each other or were just good friends would sometimes trade game jerseys once the game was over. The NFL has stated that practice would no longer be allowed.
On field seating is no longer allowed, the teams would travel to the stadium via bus, and the media will not be allowed in the locker room.
While everyone on the sideline is subject to a temperature check and sideline workers will be required to wear a mask, the coaches and players will not have to wear a mask while on the sidelines. Personal items cannot be shared including clothing, towels, cups, and food.
Anyone with a temperature over 100.4 will not be allowed in the stadium.
Players are to be kept isolated from non-player personnel.
When it comes to entertainers – cheerleaders, mascots, flag runners, etc. must have prior approval from the NFL, undergo screening, and maintain social distancing.
Some of the proposed protocols have been mat with criticism by the players.
San Francisco 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman noted via Twitter, “this is a perfect example of NFL thinking in a nutshell. Players can go engage in a full contact game and do it safely. However, it is deemed unsafe for them to exchange jerseys after said game.”
Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson questioned why the NFL is even letting them play at all?