It was revealed on Thursday that the NFL is instituting new rules in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the most notable rules is that players will no longer be able to swap jerseys with each other after games. This has become a common practice among players and many aren’t happy with the rule.
The rule does seem a little suspect considering football is a contact sport and players will be touching each other all game. Obviously, the NFL is just trying to play things as safe as possible and would prefer to keep players far apart unless it’s necessary. That said, this new rule seems misguided and robs players of one of their favorite postgame traditions.
Erik Harris Also Not Happy
Ruggs wasn’t the only Raiders player to voice their displeasure. It was also recently reported that the NFL wanted to escrow 35% of players’ salaries to help manage the added cost for the season. Erik Harris ripped the latest string of new rules the NFL is trying to implement.
These are unprecedented times for the league and it makes sense why owners would want to protect themselves. However, games can’t be played without players and there’s no reason they should be put in situations they’re not comfortable with. There’s been a lot of backlash over the jersey swap rule and the salary idea. While the NFL can be very stubborn, it’s hard to imagine they don’t try to make some adjustments in light of player reactions.
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Season Should Be Very Different
With the NBA about to be a major guinea pig for how sports will look in the current climate, the NFL will probably learn and adjust as more information comes to light. Teams are already announcing that home games will be played at reduced capacity and it could still be the case that fans aren’t allowed to go to games at all.
The NFL has talked about keeping fans out of the front eight rows but Raiders owner Mark Davis blasted that idea. There’s no exact answer on how to tackle this whole situation but if the league wants games to be played, everybody is going to have to make some sacrifices. For the Raiders, they just moved to Las Vegas and will be playing in the brand new Allegiant Stadium. Unfortunately, it seems highly unlikely they’ll be able to fully experience all that the new stadium has to offer.
The NFL will probably watch the NBA very closely to see how they adapt and react to things. The rules the league has implemented probably aren’t the first that will upset players. At the end of the day, players and owners will have to accept a lot of new rules that they aren’t totally comfortable with.