Football: NFL discussed cancellation of three games

With the rise in COVID-19 cases threatening to disrupt the NFL season, last week the league discussed game cancellations for the first time since the start of the pandemic.

In discussions with the NFL Players’ Association, the cancellation of games involving the Washington Soccer Team, the Cleveland Browns and the Los Angeles Rams has been considered due to an outbreak of COVID-19 in each training. The matches have instead been moved to Monday and Tuesday.

Association president JC Tretter, who is also a center for the Browns, said the NFL wanted to cancel those games – then the players would not have been paid, according to the COVID-19 protocol agreement.

Two player representatives who are familiar with the talks, however, revealed to The Associated Press that the cancellation of games had never been the foreground. The two sources spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to speak about the conversations being held.

Brian McCarthy, spokesperson for the NFL, told The Associated Press on Wednesday that « the goal was to play the season as planned in a safe and responsible manner. »

In a press conference with reporters, Tretter underscored the union’s opposition to any cancellation.

“The NFL’s position last week was that those three games were going to be called off,” Tretter said. They weren’t going to be played, and if they weren’t, no one on the two teams was going to get paid. This is obviously a problem for us as a union. Our position was that we had to make sure all games are played so that our guys get paid. « 

Tretter said the union office voted unanimously that « the matches [soient] postponed and not canceled ”and had“ pushed the league towards this resolution ”.

The game between the Las Vegas Raiders and the Browns has been moved from Saturday to Monday. The Seattle Seahawks versus the Rams and Washington Football versus the Philadelphia Eagles have been played from Sunday to Tuesday.

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is focused on the games, not the days they are played.

« You don’t care because it’s beyond our control. We cannot worry about things over which we have no control, ”he argued.

During the season, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and before vaccines were available, the NFL managed to keep all of the regular schedule, playoffs and Super Bowl games on time. However, 15 games had to be postponed due to an outbreak within a team.

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