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NFLPA requires agents to advise players on risks of COVID-19

With Major League Baseball bracing for a return, the NFL should pay close attention to the example MLB is setting with their COVID-19 health and safety guidelines.

The NFL Players Association has tried to get the message directly to all players about the risks of working out during a pandemic. It didn’t take.

Now, the NFLPA wants the agents to hammer home a much broader point: They each need to talk to their doctors about the risks of playing in a pandemic.

To that end, the union has directed all agents “to provide each of your clients with important risk factor information provided by the Centers for Disease Control . . . and by mid-July, you must engage each of your clients in a conversation about the vital importance of carefully reviewing this information with their personal physician,” via Tom Pelissero of NFL Media.

The union also wants agents to advise players to discuss risk factors in light of their personal medical history and their employment with their own physicians, and with team doctors.

“We want each player to be fully informed about his personal medical information as he makes decisions about returning to play in the league and throughout the course of the season; proactive engagement in this matter will help players achieve that goal,” the memo explains.

This implies that players will indeed have the ability to opt out for COVID-19 reasons. It’s a necessary, albeit unprecedented, step.