NFL Training Camps to Open on Schedule Amid Coronavirus Pandemic
By: Hannah Sang
On Friday, July 17, Troy Vincent, the National Football League (NFL)’s Executive Vice President of Football Operations, emailed all 32 NFL general club managers, notifying them that NFL training camps will start on time despite coronavirus struggles.
Around March 16, 2020, schools and businesses started closing due to a new disease called the coronavirus. Little would the world know, this virus would eventually sweep across the globe, disturbing the rhythm of people’s lives. Eventually, the coronavirus officially became a pandemic, affecting hundreds of thousands of people and worsening economic progress, with different industries facing massive revenue loss.
The sports industry was hit particularly hard by the coronavirus pandemic. According to the ad firm MediaRadar, the coronavirus pandemic could cause a 1 billion dollar loss in advertisements for the top three sports leagues: the National Football League (NFL), Major League Baseball, and the Premier League.
Sports playoffs are facing difficult choices and adjustments to accommodate the new situation.
The Ivy League’s fall sports season has been completely cancelled, affecting schedules of about 8,000 Ivy League athletes. The NFL has also temporarily forbidden any spectators to attend any type of playoff or practice season game.
Health safety and scheduling are priorities for sports leagues, and some games are continuing without spectators. No more than 20 players will be allowed in a team facility at a time, and the NFL Player’s Association plans to sign infectious disease emergency plans for each team.
The planned NFL training camps are going to continue with normal schedules and end when the sports season begins. According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, the training announcement stated that rookies will start training on July 21, and quarterbacks and injured players will start training on July 23. All other players will begin training on July 28.
“The league is management. They have the exclusive right, just like somebody who owns a plant, regarding when it opens and when it closes. They want training camps to open on time. The role of the union is to hold them accountable about whether it’s safe to open now.” NFL Player’s Association executive director DeMaurice Smith said.
Questions remain on training structures and rights of players who want to opt out. The NFL and the NFL Player’s Association continues to discuss economic impacts and protocols for the safety of all.