NFL Chief Doctor Says Teams, Players Must Be Educated About Risks of COVID
Following a disastrous re-opening by Major League Baseball, where as many as 17 Miami Marlins players and personnel have tested positive for COVID-19 forcing the postponement of several games, the National Football League remains cautiously optimistic as training camps open.
“It’s about education and understanding,” NFL Chief Medical Officer Dr. Allen Sills told BlackPressUSA.
“I think people are trying to be really thoughtful about this, and I think people do look at risk and risk mitigation in different ways. But I feel like it’s the right thing to do, to try to learn to live with this virus.”
A big part of the challenge remains findings ways to carry on safely, Sills agreed.
This week the heavy contact sport re-opened camps, but officials have decided not to hold traditional pre-season games to help keep risks at a minimum. All players are scheduled to report by August 4, but as many as 22 already have opted out of the 2020 season.
The season is scheduled to kick-off on Thursday, September 10.
“Players and coaches [and other personnel] have to make the best decisions for them,” Sills stated. The league announced that it has put in place safety measures that include increased sanitizing. Social distancing would be enforcement, including in player treatment rooms, weight rooms, mealtime, and on the playing field.
Reportedly, training camps are equipped with proximity tracking devices that will alert players or staff when they are too close to one other. The device also collects data, making contact tracing easier if someone does become infected with the coronavirus.
NFL players will live in and travel from their own homes, a contrast to the National Basketball Association, which has isolated all teams and personnel at one location in Orlando, Florida.
“If they’re around each other each day, they’re going to share risk. They also share a responsibility to each other, which means that they’re each making good choices when they’re away from the facility,” Dr. Sills said.
“We’ve tracked the CDC risk guidelines, made decisions on which ones put our players at high risk, and players can rely on those risk factors to make decisions about whether they’re going to play or not,” he added.
Dr. Sills conceded that much is still unknown about the basics of COVID-19, so everyone has “to make the best decision for themselves.”
Browns claim CB M.J. Stewart via waivers, make other roster moves
Stewart is 5-11, 200 pounds and in his third NFL season out of North Carolina. Originally a second-round pick by Tampa Bay in 2018, Stewart has appeared in 21 games with six starts. He has totaled 64 career tackles and five passes defensed. Stewart, a native of Arlington, Va., appeared in 10 games with one start with the Buccaneers in 2019.
Landry is coming off one of the best individual seasons of his career after leading the Browns in most receiving categories. He caught 83 passes -- two more than his 2018 total on 11 fewer targets -- for a career-best 1,174 yards and six touchdowns.
Joseph signed with the Browns in March after spending the first four seasons of his NFL career with the Raiders. Joseph started 41 games over four seasons in Oakland, including nine in an injury-shortened 2019 campaign. Joseph compiled 236 tackles over four seasons, including a career-best 79 in 2017, when he started all 15 games in which he appeared.
Brown has been with the team since 2018. He appeared in nine games with six starts in 2019, catching two passes for 27 yards.
Moore spent the final part of the 2019 season on the Browns' practice squad. A former fourth-round pick by the Packers, Moore has appeared in 12 NFL games since 2018.
All four activated players may participate in all team activities.
Veteran Reporter DC Livers Launches First Black Woman Owned/Led Sports Network
(BlackSportz.com) – In a much anticipated, long overdue effort, veteran sports reporter DC Livers has launched the nation’s first Black-Owned, Black-Women led sports network.
The Black Sportz Network™ (BlackSportz.com) will serve as the only news network that addresses the media blackout which often restricts Black-owned media from having equal access to professional sports.
“I must be crazy to do this but here I am launching a Black-owned sports network,” said Livers. “ESPN has a virtual sports monopoly. Although many Black-owned media attempt to gain media credentials or access but most of the times they are quickly shot down because there’s systematic and economic racism even in professional sports. [Black Sportz Network] is something I’ve been thinking about for years. I’m often the only Black woman covering a game that doesn’t work for ESPN or mainstream media. I never really get used to it. More than once I’ve had to go to the ladies room and have a good cry. Looking back now, I was just taking one for the team. It’s exciting to be able to help bring equality to sports,” said Livers, who started her professional sports career covering the Indiana Pacers.
“Thanks to a great man named Dean McDowell, I was working on a story about African Americans who worked for the Pacers when Jalen Rose walked in. I landed his first interview as a member of the Pacers. It was pretty surreal because I was moonlighting for my TV station job and had started publishing a tiny little community newspaper. It’s pretty unheard of to have that kind of opportunity but I’m so grateful that Dean understood the importance – years before it became trendy – of making sure that Black-owned media had equal access.”
Livers has already brought on a team of veteran and newbie sports writers but she’s keeping their names close to the vest for fear of talent poaching. In an industry that can turn one interview into millions of dollars, Black-owned media are often left feeling embarrassed because they can’t get equal access to African American players.