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NFL Threatens Harsh New Penalty for COVID Protocol Violations

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Ethan Miller/Getty Photos

Head coach Jon Gruden of the Las Vegas Raiders smiles after the Raiders defeated the New Orleans Saints 34-24 at Allegiant Stadium on September 21, 2020.

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Fines haven’t been sufficient to make sure NFL groups stay compliant with the league’s COVID-19 protocols. On Monday afternoon NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell despatched a memo to all staff house owners, membership presidents, normal managers, head coaches and an infection management officers relating to COVID protocol compliance, reminding everybody that “compliance is obligatory” and urging all members of the NFL group to protect in opposition to complacency.

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“The preseason and the primary three weeks of the common season proved that strict adherence to the obligatory protocols collectively developed with the NFLPA make it potential to play soccer in a protected and accountable atmosphere,” wrote Goodell.

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“The protocols don’t implement themselves, nonetheless, and our progress up to now can’t lead us to complacency. Complacency is our shared opponent. We should reinforce our dedication to full adherence to our obligatory security protocols and greatest practices.”


Adjustments to the Protocols

As for these obligatory security protocols, the letter signifies that modifications to the protocols have been applied, and that these modifications have already been associated to the league’s groups. Particular particulars aren’t included within the letter however relate to:

– An extended onboarding course of for free agent tryouts
– Bans on gatherings exterior membership services
– Limitations on the variety of tryouts permitted per week
– Implementation of league-wide video monitoring techniques to make sure compliance

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Penalties for COVID-19 Protocol Violations

Goodell’s letter goes on to remind groups that “there have been breaches to the protocols and particular person gamers, workers, and golf equipment have been disciplined consequently,” noting that self-discipline “will escalate the place noncompliance continues.”

The Commissioner additionally appears to point that violations which result in virus unfold and influence different NFL groups could also be penalized extra harshly than beforehand indicated.

“Protocol violations that lead to virus unfold requiring changes to the NFL schedule or in any other case influence different groups will lead to further monetary and aggressive self-discipline, together with the adjustment or lack of draft selections and even the forfeit of a sport.”

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In the meanwhile, the Tennessee Titans are underneath investigation for ‘failure to observe’ COVID-19 protocols and Tennessee’s COVID-19 outbreak compelled the NFL to reschedule the staff’s Week four sport in opposition to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The memo appears to recommend that if an analogous state of affairs unfolds later this season (and the staff in query is discovered responsible of protocol violations) that staff might be required to forfeit a sport.

“Now could be the time to recommit ourselves to our protocols and greatest practices for the period of the season,” concludes Goodell, reminding readers that rescheduling or canceling video games has severe penalties, which might embrace “aggressive inequities,” gamers not getting paid for video games and different monetary penalties.

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