So much for stay at home orders, social-distancing guidelines, and/or the stated preferences of the NFL.
Round one of the 2020 NFL draft included plenty of images of prospects who had people in the house who didn’t live there and/or people who were packed too closely together. The league, despite pre-draft huffing and puffing, blew no one’s house down by refusing to include the live feed from a prospect’s home on the joint ESPN/NFLN broadcast, or on the secondary ABC presentation.
Reported NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo on April 9 regarding draft-night guidelines: “The league has told players and their agents they want no more than six people there, and they want to make sure it’s people who have been living with the draft prospect. If someone comes into the house who hasn’t been living with the prospect, they want that person six feet or more away.”
Last night’s coverage was replete with examples that defied this directive. Images from prospects’ homes included on numerous occasions agents in homes where they presumably don’t live. Indeed, most if not all of these agents violated stay-at-home orders in the states where they reside to engage in non-essential travel to another state, entering someone’s home and remaining there for hours.
By now, everyone should know the risks associated with defying stay-at-home orders and clustering together. Outsiders can bring the virus into a house, and outsiders not infected by the virus can catch it there and take it home. That’s why the NFL issued these guidelines.
But the images were still broadcast into millions of homes throughout the country, sending the subtle but unmistakable message that there are exceptions to these rules aimed at limiting the spread of the virus. ESPN declined comment when asked by PFT whether it considered not televising images of gatherings that violated the NFL’s guidelines. The NFL has not responded to a request for comment on the situation from PFT.
It also will be interesting to see if the NFL Players Association has anything to say about the fact that so many agents decided to ignore stay-at-home orders in order to travel to the homes of prospects. (A request for comment was sent to the NFLPA just before this item was published.)
Hopefully, someone (other than me) will have something to say about this. The NFL tried hard to strike the right tone during the draft broadcast as to the consequences of the pandemic. However, the nonchalant transmission of images that contradict the messages that responsible politicians and leaders have been trying to send to a general public that contains too many people looking for excuses not to comply is unfortunate, to say the least. Especially since the practices in draft-prospect homes casually shown to millions of football fans could, if sufficiently replicated, prevent those draft prospects from playing any football at all in 2020.
Plenty of prospects disregarded the NFL’s pandemic guidelines originally appeared on Pro Football Talk