As the NFL and NFL Players Association establish a historic on-the-fly CBA that spans 2020 and beyond, both sides have found a way to ensure players exercise their personal responsibility in the event of a pandemic.
According to several sources, the agreement specifically prohibits players from adopting certain behaviors this season. Players cannot attend indoor nightclubs, indoor bars (except for picking up food), indoor parties (with 15 or more people), indoor concerts, professional sporting events or religious services in room which allow an attendance greater than 25% of the capacity.
Players can be fined for breaking these rules. Additionally, if they test positive after engaging in prohibited activities, they will not be paid for any missed games. In addition, future guarantees in their contracts would be canceled.
It will be interesting to see how the teams apply the rules. Some may use security guards to monitor local establishments or to monitor player behavior. Others can rely on contacts within the community to contact the team if / when violations are found. Some may set up an NBA style advice line.
As a source said on Saturday morning, “Every player must remove social media. ”
Ultimately, the goal will be to prevent players from breaking the rules and, in turn, to prevent them from testing positive and bringing the virus to the team. This will require that coaches and team leaders be very direct and clear about the behavior outside of work that will be considered acceptable.
The teams who can best communicate this message, and who can best ensure compliance of all actors, will be most likely to minimize outbreaks.