Organizers of the National Football League (NFL) have come out with a list of rules in a memo it has released for the 2021 season. The instructions revolve around those players who haven’t been vaccinated.
The teams whose games cannot be postponed or suspended due to COVID-19 outbreaks among unvaccinated players or staffers will have to forfeit the game and be declared the losers.
This has been met with mixed reactions from different participating organizations.
The memo is part of the league’s plan for a push for those participants who are still reluctant to get the vaccine jabs. The league has also affirmed that teams with 85% of its players and staffers vaccinated will not undergo strict safety protocols.
“If a game cannot be rescheduled within the current 18-week schedule and is canceled due to a Covid outbreak among non-vaccinated players on one of the competing teams, the club with the outbreak will forfeit the contest and will be deemed to have played 16 games for purposes of draft, waiver priority, etc,” the NFL memo stated.
“For the purposes of playoff seeding, the forfeiting team will be credited with a loss and the other team will be credited with a win.”
Reactions pour in on the NFL guidelines
Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins took to Twitter to express his idea about the NFL memo.
He wrote that he would “question” his future in the NFL in case not being administered with the vaccine can jeopardize his Cardinal’s chances in the coming season.
However, the wide receiver was quick to delete this tweet.
After a while, he tweeted: “9 more years left in me.”
Los Angeles Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey also weight in on the debate. Responding to Quincy Avery on Twitter, he wrote: “I know 2 people right now who got the vaccine but are covid positive. I’m just saying. I wouldn’t look at a teammate as bad if he doesn’t get the vax, no pressure from.”
I know 2 people right now who got the vaccine but are covid positive.. 🤷🏾♂️ I’m just saying. I wouldn’t look at a teammate as bad if he don’t get the vax, no pressure from 5️⃣ https://t.co/OGTbKJ1A6Z
— Jalen Ramsey (@jalenramsey) July 22, 2021
He said: “[Getting vaccinated] just makes the most sense. There’s always risks with everything in life, and getting vaccinated is the right thing to do.”
On the other hand, Dallas Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott has revealed that he got the jab but others should not be forced to get themselves vaccinated as well.
“I got the vaccine just because I wanted to put myself in the best situation to be out there for my team week in and week out. But I mean, not everyone feels that strongly or maybe other people still have their view of vaccines. You can’t force someone to do something that they don’t want to do to their body,” Elliott said.
The running back was contracted with the virus last summer.