The NFL has made it clear that it wants in-person offseason activities to be the name of the game this spring and summer after going all virtual last offseason due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In turn, the NFL Players’ Association has pushed back against this idea while continuing to cite concerns over the ongoing pandemic.
Two teams have now taken action in this regard. It could also create some major issues between one of the most-powerful unions in the United States and the powers that be within the NFL’s league office in New York City.
In what were seemingly joint statements on Tuesday, the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks announced that their players would not attend organized team activities this offseason. Both announcements came via the NFLPA.
For the vast majority of players, these organized team activities during the offseason are voluntary. Sure some have built-in incentives to attend the programs. But it seems like said incentives don’t override the belief that they are more safe remaining away from team facilities.
All of this comes after the NFL mandated that team employees receive the COVID-19 vaccine to help prevent the spread of the virus to players and coaches. Apparently, that’s not good enough for the players.
The backdrop here is interesting in that more Americans are getting vaccinated. As of Monday afternoon, 37% of Americans have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine with roughly 23% of the population being fully vaccinated.
As of right now, the NFL doesn’t not plan to make the vaccine mandatory for players. However, the spread of the virus throughout locker rooms would be less likely the more players decide to actually get vaccinated.