The past year has been a wild ride for the NFL in regards to how to manage the COVID-19 pandemic among both the players and the fans that attend games.
The decision to get vaccinated or to remain unvaccinated has been a point of contention with Americans. It has become a very divisive subject, and something you hear about every day whether it be on TV, Twitter, or other social media platforms. While a couple years ago the heated subject among Americans was whether or not you supported the then presidential administration, the hot topic of divisiveness is whether to get vaccinated or not.
The NFL is no different. While it is not required for players to be vaccinated, the NFL does boast that 93% of its players have received the COVID-19 vaccination. What’s ironic is that the NFL does not mandate players to be vaccinated, certain NFL teams are mandating that fans show proof of vaccination to even enter the stadium to watch a game.
Currently, the Seattle Seahawks mandate proof of vaccination or a negative test result taken within 72 hours of when the game begins. The New Orleans Saints, while not as strict as Seattle, are requiring that fans attending games must have at least one single does of the COVID-19 vaccination. One of the more stringent policies comes from the Las Vegas Raiders. In order to attend a game at Allegiant Stadium, fans have to show proof of vaccination. Oddly enough, there is a “no mask” rule in Las Vegas.
Just yesterday, the Buffalo Bills joined the Las Vegas Raiders as the only team to require proof of “full vaccination” upon admitted to their stadium. Allegedly, this stemmed from the Bills fanbase complaining about the lack of mask enforcement during the Bills home opener at Highmark Stadium. The Bills are not the only team in Buffalo subject to this mandate, as the same will be happening with the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres.
The remaining NFL teams do not have a mandate for vaccines just yet, although it appears that more teams will be leaning that way as the season goes on and this new way of the COVID pandemic continues to climb in numbers. All of the teams have varying policies regarding whether or not masks are mandated, and it’s just a matter of time before teams follow suit with the Raiders, Seahawks and Saints about requiring vaccinations.