Will “small war rooms” for draft mesh with stay-at-home orders?
For the draft, the NFL has decided to allow “small war rooms” of up to 10 people. In many states, that practice may defy pending “stay at home” orders.
Unless the NFL is able to finagle for the teams in the various states that require citizens to shelter in place a draft-day dispensation, anyone leaving home to join NFL draft activities could be violating applicable mandates.
Ultimately, the “stay at home orders” for each state would have to be studied. Many states permit leaving home for only a narrow band of “essential” activities like buying groceries or medication or getting gasoline. Whether a draft-weekend gathering that could arguably be accomplished via FaceTime, Zoom, or other technologies is “essential” could be, in many states, a stretch.
And if only one state in which an NFL team is located prevents executives and coaches from gathering in “small” draft war rooms, the league arguably should ban the practice for all teams, in order to ensure a level playing field. The desire for consistency among all franchises, for example, prompted Commissioner Roger Goodell’s directive last week to close all facilities, given that in some states team employees weren’t permitted to show up for work.