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NFL, NFLPA working on method for identifying vaccinated players at practices, during games

Michael Smith and Michael Holley react to the news that the NFL is set to use more social justice messaging during the 2021 season, and despite the gesture, both aren't convinced that the decision is entirely sincere.

Various players have declined to reveal whether they’ve been vaccinated against COVID. Ultimately, it could be impossible for them to conceal that fact.

Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the NFL and NFL Players Association are working out the details for identifying vaccinated players during practices and games. It’s regarded as a “core concern,” the source explained.

Obviously, if visual proof will distinguish vaccinated from non-vaccinated players, fans and media will see it, too. Which means that it will be impossible for those who have chosen not to be vaccinated to keep that information secret.

The NFL already has implemented a requirement within team facilities that vaccinated players be quickly identified by a device like a wristband or a credential.

As players who haven’t been (and don’t intend to be) vaccinated become aware of this wrinkle, they may be unhappy. It’s possible, if not likely, that quarterbacks like Kirk Cousins, Lamar Jackson, and Josh Allen have not received the vaccine. (It’s also entirely possible that Tom Brady hasn’t been vaccinated, either, given his well-documented aversion to all kinds of chemicals.)

Regardless of who has or hasn’t or will or won’t be vaccinated, the question becomes irrelevant once the league and union finalize a method for quickly and easily distinguishing the vaccinated from the non-vaccinated.