As the NFL prepares for the 2020 season, the league is creating a growing list of safety protocols for players to follow during the COVID-19 pandemic. Among them, NFL players will no longer be allowed to swap jerseys or interact after games.
NFL bans jersey swaps, postgame interactions due to COVID-19
The NFL created another set of protocols for players and teams to follow during the upcoming season. Now, per NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, the league is forbidding players from postgame interactions within six feet and will no longer allow jersey swaps.
The tradition of swapping uniforms with an opposing player after games is one of the most loved in the NFL. Whether it’s former college teammates facing each other for the first time in the NFL or two players with great respect for one another, it’s been a part of the league for years.
While it does come at a shocking financial cost for many players, it’s worth it for the gesture of respect. Unfortunately, the NFL won’t be allowing it to continue with the newest additions to the COVID-19 protocols.
This is certainly a genuine attempt by the NFL to address the safety of the players by following social distancing guidelines, but the rule feels meaningless. Players will be tackling one another and grabbing jerseys for four quarters, but the NFL is worried about contact after the game is over.
It’s not the first time the NFL’s safety guidelines have come under fire. When the league announced restrictions for the locker room and team facilities, which includes social distancing, it was called out by coaches. We’d imagine the criticism will continue following this rule.