The start of the 2021 NFL season is only weeks away, and there are already signs of trouble.
The league is dealing with several controversies at once.
And an NFL team is banning fans that refuse to do one thing.
The Wuhan virus pandemic continues to impact all aspects of life.
The Tokyo Olympics recently concluded, but it was delayed for a year due to COVID and fans were unable to attend.
The NFL season is about to kick off, and COVID is looming large.
The 2020 season was marred by forced COVID suspensions and schedule-shuffling that led to several awkward mid-week games.
Now the Las Vegas Raiders became the first NFL team to mandate vaccines in order to attend games.
From Pro Football Talk:
“The Las Vegas Raiders announced Monday night that they will be requiring proof of vaccination for all attendees of home games at Allegiant Stadium this season. The policy will go into effect for the team’s next game in Las Vegas, the Raiders’ regular season opener against the Baltimore Ravens on Sept. 13. By requiring all fans prove they’ve been vaccinated, fans in attendance at the games will not have to wear masks inside the stadium.”
The push for vaccination already cost Minnesota Vikings offensive coach Rick Dennison his on-field coaching job.
Raiders owner Mark Davis said:
“Health and safety has always been our number one priority…After consultation with Governor (Steve) Sisolak and other community leaders, this policy ensures that we will be able to operate at full capacity without masks for fully vaccinated fans for the entire season.”
The narratives around vaccination continue to change.
Dr. Anthony Fauci and other public health officials have been pushing for herd immunity through vaccination, but studies show that vaccinated individuals can contract and spread the virus.
Nevertheless, the push for full vaccination remains in place.
More from Pro Football Talk:
“The team is also offering to provide vaccinations for fans wishing to attend games. They will have vaccines available before games with fans that choose to begin their vaccine regimen then able to attend the game while wearing masks until they’ve completed their vaccination.”
The vaccination was supposed to return society back to “normal.”
But the COVID procedures have become even more draconian.
Public officials have spoken publicly about creating a two-tiered society and punishing those who do not get vaccinated.
NFL players are feeling the heat, too.
Baltimore Ravens star quarterback Lamar Jackson is unvaccinated and has tested positive for COVID twice, which brings into question the efficacy of the testing process.
Buffalo Bills wide receiver Cole Beasley has contemplated retirement over mandated vaccines, as has Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Deandre Hopkins.
NFL players are young men in peak physical condition, so the panic over the players catching COVID is unwarranted.
Also, studies show that virtually no professional athletes contracted COVID during play.
The Raiders were the first team to force fans to get the jab, but they won’t be the last.