Yesterday, the NFL sent a memo to teams with new COVID rules and ramifications. The takeaway was that players would lose their pay and have to accept a forfeit loss if their unvaccinated status resulted in a game having to be cancelled due to an outbreak.
Fast forward a grand total of one day, and here’s a wild story from ESPN explaining that a Minnesota Vikings assistant is leaving the team because he refused to get the vaccine:
After refusing to receive a vaccine for COVID-19, Rick Dennison is out as a Minnesota Vikings assistant coach, sources told ESPN on Friday.
Dennison, who had served as the Vikings’ offensive line coach/run game coordinator the past two seasons, is believed to be the first NFL position coach to leave his team after choosing not to receive a vaccine.
The vaccine is required for all Tier 1 staff, including coaches, front-office executives, equipment managers and scouts. Players are not required to receive the COVID-19 vaccine but will face strict protocols during training camp and throughout the season that vaccinated players will be able to forgo.
There’s not much to add. If Dennison doesn’t want to get the vaccine, he doesn’t have to, but the NFL is a private sector employer and can set its own conditions of that employment. Since he’s not going to comply, he’s out, and free to seek another job that will allow him to work without being vaccinated.
Just makes you wonder if we see more of these scenarios moving forward. Buckle up!
Edit, another one:
And another – and probably not the last: Patriots’ co-offensive line coach Cole Popovich won’t be with the team in 2021 in a decision related to the COVID-19 vaccine and NFL guidelines, according to @MikeReiss.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) July 23, 2021