The NFL and NFL Players Association have repeatedly insisted that players cannot be forced to receive any of the available COVID-19 vaccines, but the league is restricting unvaccinated coaches from having direct interactions with players as it attempts to complete an uninterrupted season amid the ongoing pandemic.
According to Ben Fischer and John Lombardo of Sports Business Journal, the NFL is mandating coronavirus vaccines for league employees who don't have qualifying disabilities or "sincerely held religious belief or practice" that would keep them from getting one of the shots. Those who aren't vaccinated are to begin the process Monday and be fully vaccinated by Sept. 6 or apply for an exception by Monday. The league's attorneys and human resources staff will review each request.
"This step is endorsed by our medical advisors and public health experts and is the best way to ensure the health and safety of our workforce, our families, and members of our community," an NFL spokesperson explained.
Over 90% of the NFL’s employees in its New York City office are already vaccinated.
The league has threatened it can force teams to forfeit and also withhold game checks if any contest can't be played this season because of a COVID-19 outbreak among unvaccinated personnel. Unvaccinated players can also be fined $14,650 each time they violate a health and safety protocol related to the virus.
In short, it behooves all involved with the NFL to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as possible.