The NFL Just Declared War On Church

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The NFL Just Declared War On Church
Image credit to QuinceCreative. Image modified from original.

The National Football League and NFL Players Association have recently been banning players who attend any indoor church service with above 25% capacity, according to the report published by NBC Sports recently.

Apart from a ban on attending worship services, the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) also prohibits players from going to nightclubs, bars, restaurants, any indoor gaming services, parties, and indoor professional games that have 15 or more people in attendance.

This particular deal has not been officially released, but the NBC has not mentioned any restriction on joining protests. Meanwhile, the official Twitter account of the NFL has been sharing pictures of players engaging in the Black Lives Matter protests around the country.

A post from NFL’s official Twitter account said, “We, the NFL, condemn racism and the systematic oppression of Black People. We, the NFL, admit we were wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier and encourage all to speak out and peacefully protest. We, the NFL, believe Black Lives Matter. #InspireChange.”

As with most typical CBAs, players may need to pay fines if they don’t comply with the restrictions on church and other activities imposed on them. There’s no fixed amount of fine as it varies according to the offense. They haven’t released any kind of fine structure officially as of now, but it is expected that the fine can vary from $5,000 to $70,000.

NBC Sports also reported that the player who is found positive for the coronavirus after violating any of the regulations set by CBA, will not be paid for the games they will not be able to attend. The CBA would also forgo any future guarantees mentioned in the player’s contract.

So now the question is what if the players violate the rules? NBC Sports assumes that the team may “rely on contacts within the community to contact the team if/when violations are witnessed,” or even use a tip-line in this scenario.

The members of the community are encouraged to report if they see any player attending a church service. Other ideas suggested by the NBC include tracking players or stationing officials at “local establishments,” potentially including players’ houses of worship.

Some of the big names in the National Football League took to social media very recently to express their frustration and anger over the lack of COVID-19 safety protocols in place, as teams plan to start their training camps very soon.

Super Bowl winning quarterbacks Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints and Seattle Seahawks Russell Wilson, along with Houston Texans defensive end JJ Watt, are among such names who are showing frustration at the NFL for not considering the advice of its own medical experts.

“We need Football! We need sports! We need hope! The NFL’s unwillingness to follow the recommendations of their own medical experts will prevent that. If the NFL doesn’t do their part to keep players healthy there is no football in 2020. It’s that simple. Get it done @NFL,” tweeted Brees.

Wilson’s main concern is his wife’s pregnancy. How does the NFL plan to protect the family members of the players?

“I am concerned. My wife is pregnant. @NFL Training camp is about to start… And there’s still No Clear Plan on Player Health & Family Safety. We want to play football but we also want to protect our loved ones,” tweeted Wilson.

Watt, a three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year, took to Twitter to point out a list of crucial issues that need to be addressed before the camp begins.

Watt also noted that an opt-out clause “for those at higher risk or those with family members at higher risk” had still not been agreed upon.