The NFL is taking very strict steps to ensure high vaccination rates and low risk of COVID outbreaks this season and some teams are going as far as to making unvaccinated players wear color-coded wristbands during practice.
The NFL Players Association is pushing back against this, though.
NFLPA president and Browns center JC Tretter outlined and addressed key issues regarding COVID-19 protocols on the union’s website on Monday, which included a question about the wristbands.
“We did not agree to them and think they are unnecessary,” he wrote.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Pittsburgh Steeleres were reportedly among the teams who adopted this approach following last Thursday’s memo that said games would be forfeited if unvaccinated players caused an outbreak and could not be rescheduled.
The NFL is doing everything in its power to incentivize players to get vaccinated, but as Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk pointed out, approaches such as the wristband could cause unvaccinated players to sound off their displeasure if they wish to keep that info private.
Tretter also seemed to suggest the NFLPA was not a fan of the memo the league sent out on Thursday, although they never released an official statement on it.
Tretter closed his column by saying how everyone from the league to the players and fans want the games to be played, calling Thursday’s memo a “stunt” that makes their success less likely.
“The NFL has to be better,” Tretter wrote. “And we need to stick together as players and as a union to make this work again.”