I recently wrote about why the NFL should not play the 2020 season, and now I will be looking at the other side of the argument. While the statistics and experts point to the dangers of playing a season of football during this pandemic, there are mental and more emotional sides to the debate that say we should play.
The largest point of contention has been that, without proper protection, outbreaks could spread like wildfire in a contact sport like football. While this is true, the NFL has constantly been working on ways to ensure that the game can be played safely, even while not delaying or shortening the season. According to NFL chief medical officer Dr. Allen Sills, the NFL has been working to follow federal guidelines:
“We are developing a comprehensive and rapid-result testing program and rigorous protocols that call for a shared responsibility from everyone inside our football ecosystem. This is based on the collective guidance of public health officials, including the White House task force, the CDC, infectious disease experts, and other sports leagues.”
Obviously, the league has a plan. The NFL is fully committed to playing a full season on time. It makes sense too, as each NFL season is worth billions of dollars. If the NFL and its players are willing to take the necessary precautions and deal with the inherent risk, it is understandable that they would want to continue with the season.
While this would risk player health, so is simply playing the game of football. NFL athletes are some of the healthiest people in the world, so if anybody can handle this risk, it is them. Not to say that COVID can’t harm them, but it is significantly less likely to make them seriously ill than it is to make your average Joe seriously ill.
Beyond the viability of the NFL’s plan to combat the risks involved with playing, there is also the more emotional side of the argument. Many people rely on the entertainment provided by the NFL to get them through the week. It is something many look forward to constantly. Especially during a time like this, it would be very detrimental to take away that joy, even if for just one season.
There are also the complications brought about by a missed season when it comes to the financial side. Would players still get paid? Most players aren’t making tens of millions of dollars and rely on their paychecks. This could prove to be a massive issue, especially if the NFL does not make as much money for the upcoming season. That would inhibit their ability to pay anyone, and could even present issues with basic upkeep of the league.
Considering the NFL’s commitment to developing a plan for safe play, the possible financial complications, and the morale of many NFL fans, it is reasonable to say that they can and should play a complete season. If you haven’t already, read my article about why they should not play the upcoming season and decide where you stand in the debate.