The NFL’s 2020 season quickly is approaching, but COVID-19 isn’t going anywhere any time soon.
So, the league and Players’ Association reportedly are discussing how to keep players safe during the pandemic — including allowing them to opt out, according to NFL Media’s Tom Pelissero.
“My understanding is both the union and the league intend to have an opt-out for players who have either a pre-existing condition, family (members) with pre-existing conditions, just general concerns over COVID-19, would not want to play this season,” Pelissero said, via NFL.com. “General managers were told on a call earlier this week there would be a specific date by which players would need to opt-out. That date is still to be determined.”
Players in several other professional sports leagues — including the NBA, MLB and WNBA — have been permitted to opt out of the season over COVID-19 concerns, though implications of that decision vary by league. Nevertheless, it’s proven to be an important option for some players (ex. Los Angeles Lakers guard Avery Bradley) looking to protect themselves and their families from the deadly virus.
The NFL’s 2020 season currently is scheduled to begin Sept. 10.