The NFL Reluctantly Bends the Knee to COVID Sanity

(the Jets and Giants share MetLife Stadium)

Of all the institutions in America, perhaps the dumbest regarding COVID protocols have been the major sports leagues. I say that because of the realities of who actually populate major sports leagues.

Take the NFL as a prime example. The league has had a strict, mandatory testing regime since the beginning of the 2020 season. Even players who have tested negative have been made to miss games due to “close contact” with someone else who tested positive. The league also heavily pushed vaccinations, resulting in around 95 percent of the league being fully vaccinated.

And yet…the league is currently seeing a massive COVID outbreak that has threatened to cancel multiple games over the next several weeks. That left the NFL with a choice to make. Do they keep their stupid coronavirus rules in place that make no sense whatsoever and serve no real health purpose? Or do they finally bend the knee to sanity and save a lot of money in the process?

We got an answer today, and the NFL chose door number two.

The COVID mitigation cultists are going to hate this, but it just makes so much sense. Well, everything except continuing to test asymptomatic, unvaccinated players, but hey, progress is progress.

It simply never made sense to test players who were exhibiting no symptoms of COVID on a weekly basis. After all, the league is made up of young athletes at their physical peak. Even those in their late 30s and early 40s are well outside of the higher COVID risk categories, and their physical conditions make the risks of permanent damage or death essentially nonexistent.

Want proof? In two seasons, including essentially every team in the league having an outbreak at some point or another, only a handful of NFL players have had to be hospitalized for COVID, and most of those appear to have been precautionary. As far as I can tell, none ever got seriously ill, and all made full recoveries. Again, that’s because the demographics of the NFL are statistically immune from the virus. Yet, the NFL has treated COVID as a life-threatening, existential threat anyway. Why?

The reason is simple: All of these protocols have been for show. They were never really about protecting players because the players did not need protection. But by appearing to “take COVID seriously,” the NFL avoided much chiding from the Washington bureaucrats and beltway hysterics who were seeking to stop all sports from happening back in 2020.

But now, the league is rushing to save face over the failures of the original protocols. If they kept their current, stringent regime in place and had to cancel games, it would be an admission that their push for vaccinations didn’t work. Thus, you get this late-season change to ensure that these “outbreaks” don’t happen anymore, or rather, that the league doesn’t know about them anymore.

Yet, even though this move was reluctant and largely forced by the circumstances at hand, it’s still the right one. Now, will the NBA follow suit? Don’t count on it. The woke-ness is at another level in that league.