The National Football League (NFL) announced Thursday players and staff would no longer be required to follow dystopian procedures implemented to track and isolate the novel Wuhan coronavirus.
In a memo sent to all 32 teams, the league said it came to an agreement with the NFL Players Association to “suspend all aspects of the joint COVID-19 Protocols, effective immediately.”
“Should there be a reason to impose aspects of the Protocols or to take other measures, we will work closely with clubs, the NFLPA and our respective experts, and local, state and federal public health officials to continue to safeguard the health of the NFL community,” the league added.
The drop of procedures comes as U.S. cases and hospitalizations plummet from their fifth wave peak of more than 1.4 million new cases a day and a seven-day average of more than 150,000 hospitalizations in January. The U.S. reported just more than 58,000 new cases and a daily average of just more than 8,700 in ICUs on March 2, according to The New York Times, as the nation finally transitions into a state living with the virus as opposed to trying to eliminate the airborne pathogen.
Players who didn’t follow the Covid regimen prescribed by government officials found themselves mired in faux scandal. Last fall, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers tested positive for the coronavirus after he remained unvaccinated to the ire of left-wing football fans.
Meanwhile fans, including prominent politicians ordering citizens to adhere to mask mandates, had already dropped compliance with mass Covid protocols. Last month, thousands of fans packed California’s SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles for the Super Bowl, skirting mask rules despite local mandates still in place.
L.A.’s Democrat Mayor Eric Garcetti was among them even after catching flak for flouting his city’s mask mandate at the same stadium days earlier in a picture with former Lakers legend Magic Johnson.
Garcetti excused himself for the infraction, claiming he was “holding his breath,” before he was caught maskless again at the Super Bowl.