The NFL has drawn a line in the sand when it comes to COVID-19 vaccinations and it’s prepared to hit players and teams where they’ll feel it most: their bank accounts.
In a memo issued Thursday, the NFL informed all clubs that if a game cannot be rescheduled during the regular season due to a COVID-19 outbreak among unvaccinated players, the team with the outbreak will forfeit and be credited with a loss.
- “Neither team’s players” will get paid for canceled games.
- The forfeiting team will also have to foot the expenses of the other team.
Fourteen NFL teams currently have at least 85 percent of players vaccinated, according to Judy Battista of NFL Media.
“The NFL is pressuring/’influencing’ guys to get the vaccine,” Los Angeles Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey tweeted on Thursday. Arizona Cardinals receiver DeAndre Hopkins tweeted, and later deleted, that the new COVID-19 guidelines were making him “question” his future in the league.
In 2020, the NFL went out of its way to reschedule 18 games as COVID-19 outbreaks flared up. The league will likely be less accommodating this year now that vaccines are available.
The NFL is “not mandating vaccinations,” tweeted Andrew Brandt, an ex-Green Bay Packers executive. “They are, instead, making it very difficult on the unvaccinated.”