Welniak: NFL’s COVID-19 Protocols “Contradict Each Other”

The NFL wants to protect players from the coronavirus, but some of its protocols seem questionable

After Hours With Amy Lawrence
July 10, 2020 - 9:28 am
Roger Goodell NFL

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The NFL would like to keep players safe from COVID-19 this season and have put forth protocols to do exactly that. There’s just one problem: some of the protocols don’t make a lot of sense.

Players, for example, cannot exchange jerseys after games. In fact, they cannot even be within six feet of each other after games, this after hitting and tackling each other for four quarters. Many NFL players find this ridiculous.

How realistic are these protocols?

“I find it so hard to fathom that you’re going to limit certain things while also attempting to play a contact sport,” KCTV5 sports director Dani Welniak said on After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “I know the Baltimore Ravens come out and said they’re going to have 14,000 fans at their games. The Chiefs came out and said it’s going to be limited; they didn’t give us an exact number. So you’re going to have fans in the stands, but you’re not allowed to swap jerseys?”

In addition, media will not be allowed in locker rooms.

“They’re going to monitor the locker rooms with the guys in there,” Welniak said, “but you’re on top of each other and you’re touching each other and you’re sweating on each other? I think honestly that a lot of those protocols that are in place, they’re trying to get it all figured out and I know they’re listening to the medical professionals, but there’s a lot of things that kind of contradict each other.”

Welniak, a former professional football player, played running back and wide receiver for the Dallas Diamonds. She knows from experience that plenty of germs get swapped during games. 

“I definitely agree with the players,” she said. “Having been in the trenches myself, you’re getting sweat and spit and nastiness all over each other. Unless they come up with hazmat suits for these players, I just think it’s going to be really difficult for them to monitor and to take away jersey swaps and stuff like that after the game. They said anything after the game: so even prayers after the game or getting together with your own teammates. I just think it’s a lot to try to monitor when you’re dealing with a contact sport.”