Richard Sherman rips NFL over new ban on postgame jersey exchanges
A memo issued by the NFL Wednesday night concerning planned coronavirus protocols for game days specifically banned the postgame tradition of players exchanging jerseys. San Francisco 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman quickly took issue with the policy and accused the NFL of hypocrisy.
Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network was among the media members who shared details contained in the memo, which also indicates on-field seating and media access to locker rooms will be banned as well.
The ban on postgame jersey exchanges was included in NFL-NFLPA game-day protocols that clubs received last night. Other notable changes for 2020:— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) July 9, 2020
– On-field fan seating is prohibited.
– Both teams must travel to the stadium via bus.
– Media will be banned from the locker room. https://t.co/WizWrySFvU
Reacting to Pelissero’s tweet, Sherman pointed out that these postgame interactions will occur after players spend an entire game crashing into one another on the field.
This is a perfect example of NFL thinking in a nutshell. Players can go engage in a full contact game and do it safely. However, it is deemed unsafe for them to exchange jerseys after said game. https://t.co/fWefsUSVDc— Richard Sherman (@RSherman_25) July 9, 2020
While many of the policies the NFL is putting in place for the 2020 season — should it occur — as a means to limit increased transmission of COVID-19 on game days arguably make some semblance of sense. However, it’s difficult to find fault in Sherman’s assertion that banning postgame jersey exchanges doesn’t make much sense.
On the topic of player participation should the 2020 season be held, the NFL and NFLPA are presently discussing the procedures through which players could opt out of playing.
It remains to be seen how many players will choose the opt-out route, but the case can be made that many of them share Sherman’s view that the NFL’s still-formulating protocols are shortsighted and will do little to prevent transmission of COVID-19 among them, especially in light of the contact they will undoubtedly encounter every game.