NFL players could be fined or they could lose contract guarantees if they attend indoor church services that violate social distancing policies, according to Pro Football Talk.
The NFL and the players’ union reached an agreement on the restrictions players must abide by during the upcoming season.
One such restriction specifically prohibits players from going to busy indoor events, such as night clubs, bars, house parties, concerts, professional sporting events and church services that allow attendance above 25% of capacity.
If players are found in violation of these rules, they could be fined.
Moreover, if they test positive for the coronavirus after engaging in these prohibited activities, the NFL will not pay them for the games they miss, and future guarantees in their contracts would be voided.
It’s unclear how the NFL plans to enforce these restrictions. Players could be monitored by security officials, or they could rely on contacts within the community to track their players’ whereabouts, Pro Football Talk reported.
One source said that players should immediately “delete social media” to avoid getting in trouble.
The new restrictions, however, say nothing about mass protests and do not prohibit NFL players from participating in social-justice-related activities.
This shouldn’t come as a surprise, since NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell submitted to the demands of activist players last month, apologizing to failed quarterback Colin Kaepernick and others who knelt during the national anthem.
“We were wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier,” Goodell said. “We will be reaching out to players who have raised their voices and others on how we can improve.”
Goodell also endorsed the Black Lives Matter movement and announced that the NFL would be establishing a diversity council to raise awareness about racial issues. Kaepernick has been invited to be a member of this council, Goodell said.