NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has warned teams that if they experience a Covid-19 outbreak among non-vaccinated players during the upcoming season, they will have to forfeit the game and be credited with a loss.
“As we learned last year, we can play a full season if we maintain a firm commitment to adhering to our health and safety protocols and to making needed adjustments in response to changing conditions,” said Goodell in a memo obtained by the Associated Press.
He said that the NFL will not accommodate to reschedule games that have to be canceled due to such outbreaks.
“If a game can’t be rescheduled and is canceled due to a COVID outbreak among non-vaccinated players on one of the competing teams, the team with the outbreak will forfeit and will be deemed to have played 16 games for purposes of draft, waiver priority, etc,” the memo continued.
Should an outbreak occurs due to a “spike in vaccinated individuals, we will attempt to minimize the competitive and economic burden on both participating teams,” the memo added.
Some anti-vax players expressed their discontent over the policy. Among them is Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Deandre Hopkins who threatened to quit via Twitter.
“Never thought I would say this, but being put in a position to hurt my team because I don’t want to partake in the vaccine is making me question my future in the @NFL,” Hopkins tweeted.
The tweet was then deleted just before he wrote another, saying: “Freedom?”