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NFLPA on players not being paid in event of a forfeited game: “The same basic rules applied last year”

Michael Irvin's comments about the Cowboys missing COVID vaccine protocols raises questions for NFL teams' goals this season and why the winning mentality doesn't encourage more players to get vaccinated.

The notion that a forfeited game will result in players or both teams losing their game checks has sparked an obvious question: What doe the NFL Players Association think about this?

We have the answer. The NFLPA thinks it’s fine, because it’s the same rule that applied in 2020.

In an email to membership issued in response to Thursday’s memo from the NFL to all teams, the unions said, “We remind you that the same basic rules applied last year.”

As noted by the NFLPA, if games were missed in 2020 because of a COVID outbreak, nobody would have gotten paid.

“The only difference this year is the NFL’s decision to impose additional penalties on clubs which are responsible for the outbreak and the availability of proven vaccines,” the memo explains. “The protocols we jointly agreed to helped get us through a full season last year without missing game checks and are effective, when followed.”

It’s not a surprise. Even though the NFLPA has not agreed to make vaccines mandatory, the NFLPA realizes (to its credit) that players should get vaccinated. That’s why the NFLPA hasn’t fought the league’s efforts to create real incentives to get vaccinated -- and real disincentives for players who don’t.

To the extent that some players don’t like it, well, that’s to be expected. Unanimity rarely exists on any issue in a union with members having such diverse interests. However, majority rules in the NFLPA. Given the raw number of vaccinated players, the majority has spoken: the players think the players should get the vaccine.