Despite the new coronavirus outbreak, the NFL continues to depict the new league year will begin on schedule.
The NFL currently is one of the only professional sports leagues in the United States operating under semi-normal circumstances, though several teams have placed restrictions around travel during the outbreak. Some teams, however, reportedly were skeptical of the league year beginning on time.
But the COVID-19 crisis apparently isn’t enough to convince the NFL Players’ Association to consent to moving the league year, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Instead, the league year is set to begin Wednesday, March 18 at 4 p.m. ET, as previously scheduled.
Here’s why the NFLPA decided against the move, per Schefter:
No one is traveling anyway. Itâs not football activity, itâs deals. Everyone is working remotely. Letâs do our business remotely. And this could get worse before it gets better. So do it now.
The NFL isn’t the only U.S. sports league currently working around the outbreak. The WNBA has started to “scenario plan” for the league’s upcoming events this spring — including the league’s season opener in May — and will provide more details on the league’s plan to cope with the outbreak next month.
At least fans will have something to keep an eye on with every other U.S. pro sports league (including Major League Baseball, NBA, NHL and MLS) currently paused.