Last week, when the increase in COVID-19 cases began to threaten the NFL season, the league held talks where it raised the possibility of canceling games for the first time since the pandemic struck.
During conversations with the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) the possibility of canceling games in Washington, Cleveland and Los Angeles (Rams) was discussed due to outbreaks in each team. Instead, they postponed the meetings to Monday and Tuesday.
NFLPA president JC Tretter, center of the Browns, indicated that the NFL wanted to cancel the games. The players would not have received a payment in this scenario, according to the agreement signed last season with the union on the COVID-19 protocols.
But two player representatives, who are aware of the discussions, told The Associated Press that canceling the games was never the first idea. Both representatives spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because they are not allowed to speak about the discussions.
NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told the AP on Wednesday, “Our goal has been to run the season safely and responsibly.”
In a conference call with reporters, Tretter stressed that the union opposes any cancellation.
“The position of the NFL last week was to cancel those three games,” Tretter said. “They were not going to be disputed and if they were not carried out then no one from both teams would receive their salary. Of course that is a problem for us as a union. More than 18% of players were at risk of not receiving their salary last week. Our position is that we need to ensure that all matches are played so that our players receive their payment. “
Tretter noted that the NFLPA executive committee voted unanimously to emphasize “that our position is that games have to be rescheduled and not canceled. We pressured the league to this resolution ”.
The game between the Raiders and Browns was changed from Saturday to Monday and Las Vegas won. The meetings of Seattle and Rams, as well as Washington and the Eagles went from Sunday to Tuesday with wins for Los Angeles and Philadelphia.
Last season, in the midst of a pandemic and before vaccines were available, the NFL completed the season, playoffs and the Super Bowl on time. However he changed 15 duels of date due to outbreaks in various teams.
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Sources: NFL and union discussed canceling games