The NFL seems to be taking cues from the NBA on how to handle its impending COVID-19 season - well, in one area, anyway.
One of the more joke-friendly aspects of the NBA's bubble in Orlando was the league's so-called "snitch hotline", which players could use to report other players' unsafe behavior, particularly behavior that might jeopardize the bubble itself.
Apparently, some of the people in charge of NFL teams saw the idea and decided it was a good way to keep everyone in check.
Because at a least "a few teams" have set up their own snitch hotlines as players return to team facilities for training camp, according to Yahoo! Sports:
A few teams have set up a phone number that employees can call if they want to report protocols being broken or other concerns.
"We call it a 'COVID help line' but it's a snitch line," one employee said.
Asked if they would consider calling it, the employee laughed and said, "Hell, no. I'm not calling that thing. I doubt anyone will ever call it. It's supposed to be anonymous, but I wouldn't take that chance."
Another employee said they have been instructed to report protocol issues but given no structure for how to do it.
"We were told that if we see something that we should say something," the employee said. "But I don't even know how that's supposed to work. I don't even know who I'm supposed to tell."
Everyone in the basketball world pointed to Oklahoma City point guard Chris Paul as the player most likely to use the NBA's "snitch hotline".
So which teams have set up these lines - and which players are going to use them?
Here's one guess: Patriots head coach Bill Belichick isn't going to be punishing rule-breakers any time soon.
Jokes aside, the idea of reporting risky conduct shouldn't be so taboo. More than just the ability to play football, people's health and safety will be on the line during the NFL season, and players need to take that responsibility seriously.
The league sent a memo to teams on Monday evening outlining potential fines for high risk behavior during the 2020 NFL season, including going to clubs, bars, and house parties without personal protective equipment.
As NBC Sports Philadelphia's Dave Zangaro pointed out Monday, in such uncertain times, most safety measures are good measures:
Without being in a bubble, the NFL is counting on its players acting responsibly to limit the spread of the coronavirus. While all of these things might seem obvious, the added incentive to not get fined might prevent some stupid behavior.
The Eagles are scheduled to start their season Sept. 13 against the Washington Football Team.
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