NFL sent teams updated camp and preseason COVID-19 protocols as players across the league arrive at their training camps across the country. Included in the memo, though, are details of the discipline players will face, regardless of vaccination status.
NFL Network's Tom Pelissero obtained the memo, which reportedly included that anyone who refuses to wear a tracker will receive a $14,650 fine and refusing to submit a required COVID-19 test will result in a $50,000 fine.
Protocols still remain the highest for unvaccinated players since they are required to wear masks at all times, including while lifting in the weight room and at practices "except when doing so would interfere with their ability to engage in athletic activity."
Among players, nearly half the league has reached a 90% vaccination rate. However, there are some teams, like the Washington Football Team, who are just over a 50% vaccination rate among players. Per Pelissero on Tuesday, 85% of the players across the league have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Some players and coaches have been hesitant about getting vaccinated. Bills wide receiver Cole Beasley shared on Twitter that he "may die of covid, but I'd rather die actually living." Mark Cuban offered to buy Beasley's wife Pfizer stock if the wide receiver got vaccinated and promoted the vaccine on his social media accounts.
Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins said in a since-deleted tweet that the NFL's new policies regarding COVID-19 outbreaks and vaccination are making him "question" his future in the league.
"Never thought I would say this, But being put in a position to hurt my team because I don’t want to partake in the vaccine is making me question my future in the NFL," Hopkins wrote in a now-deleted tweet.
These updated protocols come just a few days after the league informed the teams it would enforce forfeits if an outbreak occurred among unvaccinated players and the game could not be rescheduled. Additionally, the league told ESPN's Jenna Laine that it will fine unvaccinated players $14,650 any time they violate COVID-19 procedures this season.
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