Little by little, the pandemic in the world is subsiding and a large part of the solution is vaccination. On USA, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that 99.5% of all deaths from Covid-19 in the last six months occurred in unvaccinated people and 97% of all patients admitted to hospitals are not inoculated. And the rate complete vaccination in the country is 51%, despite being one of the nations with the most available doses; the explanation is that a large part of the population opposes vaccines. This problem reached one of his most popular sports, whose National Football League (NFL) It is the most important sports competition in the country, as it is the one that gathers the most supporters and the one with the most economic income.
The football season will begin on Thursday, September 9, and the league wants speed up the vaccination process for players so that they are available. He devised a strict protocol for both the vaccinated and the unvaccinated. Those who have the entire inoculation will be able to enter the facilities no mask, will not be tested daily nor should they quarantine in case of close contacts (They will be able to return to their activities after two negative results in 24 hours) and they will be able to carry out advertising actions (something that was prohibited last season). Those who are not fully vaccinated will be examined every day, they should use chinstraps, they will not be able to share common areas (such as changing rooms) with their colleagues and must comply 10-day quarantines in case of close contacts. Some will be able to re-experience the “pre-pandemic” life and others will have to live in a “Individual bubble”, as in the 2020/2021 season. In case of non-compliance with the protocol regulations, they will receive fines of about $ 50,000 and up.
Roger goodell, the NFL commissioner, emphasized that he does not plan to reschedule games due to a Covid-19 outbreak in a team, as if it happened in the last championship. The affected group will lose the commitments in question And he won’t have the same considerations for next year’s draft. What’s more, the franchise that suffers the outbreak will have to cover the financial losses of the game not playedsuch as ticket reimbursement and breach of a televising agreement. This is also important for the players, as in the event of a match being suspended they will not receive your weekly salary and in the eventuality of enjoying by contract of bonuses for encounters faced would not be charged.
Several NFL players spoke out against such strict protocol. One of those who publicly stated their intention not to get vaccinated is Cole beasley, Buffalo Bills wide receiver, who tweeted this message: “Hi, I’m Cole Beasley and I’m not vaccinated! I will be doing what I do. If you are afraid of me, then stay away or get vaccinated. I can die from Covid, but I would die living for real. Fine me if you want. My way of life and my values are more important to me than a dollar. I’m going to play for free this year to live life like I have since day one. ” After that publication, criticism rained down from both fans and colleagues, for example, Jerry hughes, a veteran of 11 seasons with whom he had a heated debate on the social network. Then Beasley came out to clarify: “I am neither pro nor anti-vaccines. I am pro-choice “, he maintained, and criticized the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) arguing that it did not give the correct information to its affiliates.
Beasley’s statements started a debate in the NFL and many players, coaches and legends came out to support the league’s vaccination plan. One of them is Michael irvin, historic Dallas Cowboys wide receiver, Hall of Famer and recurring media personality. Before training camp, the three-time Super Bowl champion was asked about Dallas’ health situation: “Not being one of those teams that surpassed the 85% vaccination mark. [la mínima requerida por la NFL] it means that for many people on this team there are more important things than winning championships, and that worries me, “he said.
Another controversial situation is that of Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings quarterback. On August 2, he was placed in the Covid-19 reserve for being close contact and he missed a week of training camp. Once available again, announced to the press that he would not be vaccinated, and Holland Hospital in Michigan, his hometown, announced that Cousins was no longer its face and spokesperson. In a statement, the management of the health complex said that those who spoke and took action with the hospital should be aligned with its health position.
A particular situation is living Ron Rivera, Washington’s head coach. Last year Rivera was diagnosed with lymph node cancer and treatment included chemotherapy, but he was with the team all season nonetheless. This and his age (59 years), almost a risk group, made him a vulnerable patient. Rivera encouraged his players to get vaccinated: before the training period, in the offseason, his team was one of the most behind in vaccination percentage, and the coach decided to bring in a specialist to show his team how important it was inoculation. Rivera believes there is a lot disinformation about vaccines and that she is responsible for so many people who refuse to be immunized. Now, two weeks before the regular stage of the contest, the squad is mostly vaccinated thanks to Rivera’s work, some of whose pupils did not know what the Delta variant was.
The NFL has fought against Covid-19 like few leagues in the world, despite the fact that managed to carry out his 2020/2021 season. He completed it with almost no fans in the stands, and once it was over, offered its stadiums as vaccination centers. The August 11 He reported that 91.7% of all his athletes had received at least one dose So what 15 of its 32 teams they had vaccinated more than 95% of its members and others 10 sets they registered a 90%. In the last hours, the Atlanta Falcons published that 100% of its campus is vaccinated. In turn, the Las Vegas Raiders announced that they will ask all the supporters who want to attend their new stadium, Allegiant, your vaccination card against the coronavirus, while New Orleans Saints will require all unvaccinated bystanders a negative PCR result.
The message of the NFL, either as an organization or as a group of franchises, is overwhelming: “Get vaccinated.”