NFL Threatens Teams With Potential Discipline Over Properly Wearing Masks

by Hunter Miller
(photo credit: Jamie Squire / Staff

After Sunday’s NFL opening weekend, the league is issuing a warning against teams that fail to properly abide by mask and face-covering guidelines.

On Monday, Troy Vincent, the NFL executive V.P. of football operations penned a memo addressed to all General Managers, head coaches, and athletic trainers. The topic of the letter concerned the joint NFL-NFL Players Association protocols.

“[W]e must remain vigilant and disciplined in following the processes and protocols put in place by not only the league, union and clubs, but also by state and local governments,” Vincent writes, according to Pro Football Talk. “Becoming careless or ignoring face covering and physical distancing requirements will put the 2020 season at risk.”

In the memo, Vincent reminds team that the protocol “requires all individuals with bench area access (including coaches and members of the club medical staff) to wear face coverings at all times.” (Emphasis in original.)

“Two of our stadiums are in locations in which this requirement is mandatory for all individuals, including players,” Vincent writes. “Failure to adhere to this requirement will result in accountability measures being imposed against offending individuals and/or clubs. Wearing a mask does not mean using it as a chin strap or hanging it from one’s neck.”

Vincent also writes how the face-covering needs to fit across “the wearer’s nose and mouth to prevent transmission of the virus.”

NFL Coaches Draw Attention With Masks and Face Coverings

On Sunday’s games, the coaches wore a variety of masks and face-coverings. However, several drew attention for repeatedly pulling them down to talk with players. Furthermore, others donned masks that did not completely cover their mouth and nose. As previously mentioned, this doesn’t comply with the NFL’s protocols.

The issue was on full display during the Los Angeles Rams game on Sunday night. Head coach Sean McVay often pulled his mask down below his chin.

The league protocol updated earlier this summer states that anyone with bench access must wear a mask at all times. Players are not required to wear them. The coaches can pick from three options including a mask, neck gaiter, and/or face shield.

[H/T Pro Football Talk]