While the NFL is not mandating that players receive the COVID vaccine, they ask that teams make their unvaccinated players wear brightly colored wristbands so that everyone can see who is vaccinated and who is not vaccinated. JC Tretter, the president of the National Football Association Players League and fully vaccinated, says that the league has overstepped its boundaries with this move.
Players See It as an Unnecessary Move
DeAndre Hopkins says that he sees it as an unnecessary scarlet mark. He says most players already know who is vaccinated and who is not because unvaccinated players must wear a mask inside training facilities.
Focus on Football
Browns’ head coach Kevin Stefanski says that he does not like the rule that teams can disregard without penalty. He says that he wants his players focused on football and not on the vaccination debate.
Teams May Forfeit Games
The NFL has also said that if any team has an outbreak and misses a game, there is no requirement that the game is rescheduled at a later date. While they will work with teams about the possibility of rescheduling, if the game is canceled, then the team who was in quarantine will be forced to forfeit the game.
The NFL has placed other restrictions on unvaccinated players. For example, they cannot use the cold tub when social distancing is impossible, and they cannot use the team’s sauna or steam room. They also cannot gather with teammates outside of the practice facility. Any team found in violation of the rules can be fined up to $14,650 per infraction.