NFL right to use forfeit threat if unvaccinated players cause COVID outbreak

We don’t say this often.

Good for the NFL.

Good for professional football as being the first North American sports league to write what should be clear and reasonable at the present time, a decision that, in essence, has two points to say:

1. You are free to choose about vaccinations.

2. You are no longer free from the consequences of that choice.

The NFL really got there, dropping an “F-bomb” far more important than the bomb, in whole or in part, that made up two-sevenths of George Carlin’s old “Seven Words You Can’t Say on Television” a little, a word that terrifies sports federations because doing it is always the culmination of something bad, worst case scenario in the end.


There are two entries from the NFL’s memo released Thursday that seem almost certain to be game-changing, in one way or another, for the upcoming season, which will include 18 weeks and 17 games each. club and has 272 regular games – all of which the NFL is expected to play. Or something else …

The NFL said teams would have to forfeit games if unvaccinated players caused a COVID outbreak.
The NFL said teams would have to forfeit games if unvaccinated players caused a COVID outbreak.

Or another team is infringed by the infection of unvaccinated players risks losing that game – and all the revenue and playoff impacts associated with it – by being forced to quit.

And by the way? No player from either team participating in a canceled match will be paid for that week.

So good luck to the Cole Beasleys of the world. The Bills recipient, a few months ago, earned an extra 15 minutes of fame with some noisy statements that not only keeps him from getting a COVID-19 vaccine, but he’s also willing to give up football if forced to do so.

Good luck to DeAndre Hopkins, the broad recipient for the Cardinals, who in a deleted tweet on Thursday said: “I never thought I would say this, but was put in a position to hurt my heart. My injury because I don’t want to get involved in vaccines is making me question my future in @Nfl.”

We can record debates about whether citizens have the right to refuse to vaccinate their friends on the Op-Ed site. So, let’s remind Beasley, Hopkins and a host of other NFL players who popped up on Thursday of a few indisputable facts as they relate to football:

Bill recipient Cole Beasley #11, running with the ball.
Bill recipient Cole Beasley has been very outspoken about his opposition to the COVID-19 vaccine.
Charles Wenzelberg / New York Post

1. Each of them played soccer in high school. And the only way any American teen is allowed to play high school football is by showing proof of a basic set of routine vaccines – mumps, measles, chickenpox, etc. quantity. No proof of photos, no Friday night light (or Saturday afternoon sun) for you.

2. The NFL also requires players – for their own good and also for the sake of the game – to wear helmets, masks and shoulder pads, and other protective measures against common injuries for a violent game. Never once challenged these rules as the men playing this game can be stubborn, but generally not stupid.

DeAndre Hopkins tweeted - and quickly deleted - his reception of the NFL's memo about the loss of the COVID-19 vaccine.
DeAndre Hopkins tweeted – and quickly deleted – his reception of the NFL’s memo about the loss of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Somehow, the NFL got through its entire schedule last year without losing a single game, and that’s like a yes-but-for-God miracle, to be honest. – especially when you look at how devastated college football is. But then there was no vaccination. All the NFL can do is roll the dice, collect the swabs, and hope. It worked.

But this Hail Mary is no longer needed. There is a vaccine. They are easy to get. They are free. And if they’ve been proven not to be 100% resistant to the virus, it’s clear that, at worst, they minimize the impact of COVID-19.

Baseball is currently struggling with the fact that seven teams – including the Mets – have not yet reached the 85 percent threshold for reducing road restrictions. The Phillies and Yankees just finished a series in which one team (Yankees) was in fact higher than that 85, but was stymied by breakouts, while the other was reported to be lower. Philly has lost players. There is a real fear that the next time it may be worse.

And then what happened?

In the NFL, we now know what. We also know that while all 32 teams have vaccination rates above 50 percent, 18 of them are below 85 percent. That’s a concern, especially with the new rules on the books. The NFL was right to include disenfranchisement clauses in these regulations – “disenrolled” is the dirtiest word in competitive sports.

It is more correct if there is the possibility of embedding in the player’s wallet. Money talks. We know what walking. The NFL just makes it more likely, it will run instead, hopefully to the nearest available clinic. | NFL right to use forfeit threat if unvaccinated players cause COVID outbreak


DevanCole is a Interreviewed U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. DevanCole joined Interreviewed in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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