What about clubbing and ignoring test results?
The two lessons learned from the MLB efforts to playing professional sports in this environment. Let’s talk about the Florida Marlins first. The system did not fail the Florida Marlins, the Marlins failed the system. Reports portray players who tested positive but who displayed no symptoms. The protocols for these require investigators to identify potential exposure and isolate those persons as well.
The Marlins quarantined infected players, but the system failed to acknowledge the exposure of other players as risks, thereby avoiding quarantine protocol of additional players and continuing to play Sunday’s game. The results? 20 players testing positive, shutting down the Marlins season for a week. A separate incident involved St. Louis Cardinals players were reportedly left their hotel to gamble at a casino. The results? Three players, four staff have tested positive. A fast-moving highly-infectious disease only needs the briefest of moments for a person to contract. And from that moment, it’s off to the races in terms of infecting others.
These rules create a system that is relying upon the honor system to be effective. If and when the team and players refuse to honor the rules and exert their personal liberties, or some misguided effort to cut corners to win individual games, the overall system will fail. So the new agreement outlines a listing of several activities that NFL players and coaches must avoid. Those activities include: going to a bar or night club where there are more than 10 persons or if that person goes without PPE, attending an indoor sporting or entertainment event, gatherings inside a home of 15 or more, unless everyone wears PPE and sufficient space exists for social distancing.
Fines for these High-Risk Activities are up to a week’s worth of salary, plus up to four weeks suspension without salary. That’s a lot of sharp teeth. The reason for this is that the risk to players, coaches, and the sport is more than the risk to their livelihoods. It risks health and lives. So it’s truly one of those areas where it’s bigger than the player, or the sport. Everyone must have one another’s backs. Their lives may depend on it, literally.