Like many of the sports leagues in the country, the NFL has continued to make the necessary health measure adjustments. It has been a crucial part of providing a safe environment for those involved to operate during the COVID-19 pandemic. The NFL and commissioner Roger Goodell have had to make some unusual changes to keep their players safe. With that in mind, the league just announced another change that has almost completely removed a longtime tradition.
NFL adapting to COVID-19 pandemic
It has been a rough transition for the sports world over the last several months dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.
There have been many bumps along the way for the NFL in their attempt to address the situation. It saw the league struggle to find their footing with the appropriate conduct to work through the virus situation.
The start of training camp was pushed back to late July while the entire preseason was canceled due to precautionary health reasons. The NFL also committed to roughly $75 million in expenses to conduct daily coronavirus testing leading up to the 2020 season throughout the campaign.
These are necessary steps forward to maintaining a safe environment for all those involved. However, it also saw the implementation of another rule change that many NFL players bugged out.
NFL has put in place new jersey exchange policy
The NFL has fiddled with many different situations that could help add another layer to the safety measures. One of which has seen them alter the guidelines for players deciding to exchange jerseys with their peers after games.
The league had already forbidden postgame interactions within six feet of each other, while jersey exchanges would be prohibited during the entire 2020 season. There is now another added measure with the situation as the NFL has stated that if players still want to go this route, it would require the jerseys first to be washed then mailed.
The entire process will have to run through their respective team equipment manager, who has to remove the contact tracing device from the jersey. Then the item will be cleaned then shipped to the opposing franchise’s equipment manager. On top of that, the NFL has stated that the players can’t exchange their jerseys after the “Crucial Catch” and “Salute to Service” games because those items are auctioned off for cancer and military fundraisers.
All this creates an interesting dilemma for players wanting to get their colleague’s jersey. The precautionary measures are warranted, but it’s a move that won’t exactly rub players the right way.
Players will voice their disgruntlement
The latest development to the situation will likely bring forth even more dismay from the players.
Richard Sherman and Deshaun Watson were already vocal about the jersey exchanges becoming banned for the 2020 season. The fact that the uniforms will be cleaned before delivering them may anger some players. It’s the authenticity factor with the game-worn part of the jersey concerning the dirt, grass stains, among other things.
It takes away much of that factor, along with removing the postgame interactions and discussions that players cherish. These are necessary adjustments, but one that eliminates a longtime tradition that players conduct with their peers. These are memories that they cherish from their careers, and many players collect jerseys from their colleagues as a sign of respect and admiration.
There will likely be some more outrage from the players, but it at least gives them the chance to exchange jerseys with their peers. Albeit in a manner that they don’t prefer, but the option is still there.