Monday, November 30, 2020

How the NFL is dealing with COVID-19

Company Overview

The National Football was founded in 1920. The person who discovered this game was Walter Camp. He was often referred to as the “father of american football”.
 As a Yale undergraduate and medical student from 1876 to 188, Walter Camp  played halfback and served as team captain for the Yale Bulldogs. Even more importantly, he was the guiding force on the rules board of the newly formed Intercollegiate Football Association (IFA). Thanks to Camp, the IFA made two key innovations to the fledgling game. Which was a big thing for the game to be created. Camp came up with the opening “scrimmage” or “scrim” and introduced the requirement that a team give up the ball after failing to move down the field a specified yardage in a certain number of “downs.” This was a start to how the game would be played. Walter camp was born April 7th,1859 in New Britain, Connecticut. From 1920-1921, Jim Thorpe was the first NFL president. Jim Thorpe was born May 28th, 1187 near Prague, Oklahoma. He was part of the Potawatomi Indian bloodlines, as well as French and Irish roots. Thorpe was quite the athlete you don’t see often. He was a track star, he also enjoyed success in baseball, hockey, lacrosse, and ballroom dancing. However, it was football that got the center of his attention. Starring as a halfback, place kicker, punter, and defender, Thorpe led his team to a surprise victory over top ranked Harvard. After Thorpe graduated from Carlisle, he was named to the U.S. olympic team. He posted a gold metal thereby winning 4 out of the 5 events. In 16, 17, 18, 19, and 20 Thorpe pushed to become the first NFL league president ever. It took four years for the athlete to finally get his crown. The league then started making money in 1926. In 1926, Red Grange signed a 19-game deal with the Chicago Bears that earned him $100,000. The first NFL contract ever. Over the next few decades players salaries started to depend on their skill quality, and the teams that they played on. In the late 50’s players demanded a league minimum. The average player at the time was getting less than $6,0000 per season. The big money striked in 1982 and 1987. The reason why it spiked was because the players won the rights to get more team revenues. Salaries went up from $198,000 in 1986 to almost $800,000 by the start of the 1993 season. In 1995 a football player signed a 35 million dollar contract. 

Case Controversy

The National Football League gives us the opportunity to actually enjoy watching the game of football. It is the most watched sport in the world today due to all the exciting hits, and all the talented players. However, with times being different now and COVID-19 being a huge issue in the world today, the NFL has done a poor job with dealing with COVID. It is quite shocking on how poorly the NFL is dealing with this deadly pandemic. Head coach for the New England Patriots Bill Bellichick has even come forward and stated that he doesn’t even know how to deal with this massive pandemic. A recent article that the Wall Street Journal posted talked about the Thanksgiving games that were played on thursday put the league into a COVID Crisis. The wall street journal states that the league will shut down for two days so they can regroup from a weekend in which top teams were sidelined, a local government rendered the San Francisco 49ers homeless and the Denver Broncos played without a quarterback. The Wall Street Journal stated that over the past several days, new coronaviruses problems have erupted across the league as Covid 19 cases continue to tear through the NFL. In fact the weekend got so bad, that after Sunday's games, the NFL will shut down most in person activities for two days to regroup from the weekend. Another article that was posted October 8th by stated how the patriots and Bill Belichick is lost for words when it comes to this virus. Back in October the Patriots placed three players on the COVID-19/reserve list. The three players were Quarterback Cam Newton, Defensive Tackle Bill Murray, and star cornerback Stephon Gilmore. After the Patriots game against the Chiefs on Monday, the Patriots were forced to close their facility Wednesday, and Thursday to work remotely. Belichick stated that “We will return when we feel it is safe for everyone to come back. I’m sure you guys have a lot of questions, and I have a lot of questions. We all have questions. This is really more of a medical situation than a football situation, so we’ll work through the decisions and input from the people in the medical field. Belchick also stated that “I am used to dealing with adversity, but I have never faced anything like this before”. Therefore proving my point by the NFL not knowing what to do, and whatever they try to do is just simply not working. The Tennessee Titans were dealing with COVID problems as well. The team was told that players could not gather together for any in person activities either at the clubs’s facility or elsewhere. However, a day before several titans players worked out at a private school. The NFL immediately closed down their facilities after they confirmed 8 titans players tested positive. A few days later the number increased to 23 players testing positive. Since the titans violated protocols the league fined them $350,000 which led to the league's first COVID-19 outbreak. The league makes it seem like this pandemic is not really a thing. Fans are attending games in states like there is no issue. In fact some players I have noticed haven’t been wearing masks. That is a very big deal. It is simply a fact that the NFL just hasn’t been doing a good job with dealing with this virus. Giving out fines to teams is not a way to deal with COVID. 


The Stakeholders in the NFL’s cases include the athletes, the coaches, the leagues president, and whoever else is involved with their specific team. The NFL’s players are the most direct stakeholders because they are the ones that are being forced to play through these times, and they are being treated unethically. Think about it, these players are suffering because one they don’t want to receive the virus, and two some of these athletes have families at home. They don’t want to be the ones responsible for passing it on to their family. I would say another stakeholder could be us, the people watching the games. I say this because we have no idea what occurs in the locker room, practice, and games. We most likely do not have an idea what happens throughout the week at practice, we only have an idea of what happens on sundays when we watch the game. 


Individualism. There are two ways we can deal with individualism. The first way would be Friedman’ view which is the way we view individualism is by making profit, but it has to be within the law. The Second way we view Individualism is by Machan view. His view is very simple. It is to maximize profit no matter what the situation is. 

Now, going into my case, Individualists would say that The NFL is doing their job because they are maximizing profits by playing a season even though there is a deadly virus going around in the world today. In 2019 the average NFL franchise was valued at 2.3 billion dollars according to This was a 22% increase from the year 2018, and it is a 64% increase from the year of 2014. A big difference. When this first NFL game was played September 20th, the NFL values and money making have gone up 7% for football franchises despite the deadly pandemic in the world today. I would say that Individualists would say that the NFL is doing everything within the law. 

There is no law saying that the NFL cannot play a season because of the pandemic, so yes they are doing the right thing in an Individualists standpoint. The NFL hasn’t recevied any threats to get investigated by anybody for COVID reasons.  


Utilitarianism takes a different approach in this case. Utilitarianism goes more into maximizing happiness in other people or including yourself. Utilitarianism believes that the purpose of morality is to make life better by increasing the good things and also decreasing or getting rid of the bad things that occur in your life. 

In my case there are some benefits, and there are some costs that occurred. The one that I would say that was affected the most in this aspect is the athletes. Athletes get paid by every game they play. They make about 300,000 dollars a game. But, in this case it isn’t about the money it is about your health and safety that you have to look out for. 

The second stakeholder in this situation would be the fans. The fans love and enjoy watching this intense game on TV. Fans have favorite teams they cheer for, and certain players they cheer that makes them happy. The third stakeholder in this case I would say is the athletes families. I say this because their husband, son, cousin, friend, or nephew makes a lot of money. They make more money than the average person does by a whole lot. So they can use the extra cash from the athlete if they really need it. However, there are some costs that come with that. Since some of these players are around so many players, families might not want to come in contact with the athlete because he has been exposed to the virus. In the long run, I know these players make millions of dollars, but think about it, is the NFL thinking about the players safety or do they not care about the players health by just having them play a season with the current issues that are going on around the world. 

Virtue Theory   

The virtue theory was developed by a greek person named Aristotle, and other Ancient Greeks. In the Virtue Theory, there are 4 types of them that make it up. They include courage, honesty, justice, and temperance. Aristotle and the other Ancient Greeks stated that rationality is what makes people different in terms of characteristics. He also stated that in order to be happy and live a great life you need to be rational in order to function well.  

Going into the case, the NFL is honestly being really courageous by playing a season with the pandemic going around. These athletes are showing a great sign of courage as well because I know that this virus can be a really scary thing. Although some people decided to opt out for the season because of the virus which doesn’t show so much courage on their part. 

The second virtue is honesty. I would say that the NFL’s actions are honest. They said that we are going to have a whole season and they ended up having an actual season. They were honest when it came to giving out fines to the teams that didn’t follow protocol. 

The third virtue is temperance. The NFL does not show a great display of temperance to their athletes. They are ordering every single athlete to get tested 3-5 a week which is a whole. I know personally getting my test that tube going up your nose is not a great feeling. Another way the NFL is not showing great temperance is how when standing on the sidelines there is no “social distancing” which is disturbing in a way.

The last, and final virtue is justice. The NFL does show justice. On December 17th, 2017 the NFL expanded by showing justice that supports and shines a light on the actions that the players take every day that have a positive role in their communities.    

The NFL also shows justice because NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said the league will imprint “End Racism” and “it takes all of us” in the end zone at each stadium during the 2020 season. This means a lot to people. The NFL might not do the right thing all the time but when it comes to this they are doing this correctly, and the proper way.


Kantianism was created and founded by this guy named Immanuel Kant. What this theory focuses on is good will and rationality. There are four different types of Kantianism. The first is to help others make rational decisions, respect people, act rationality, and to be greatly driven by goodwill. The most important thing in this theory is the Formula of Humanity. What this represents is that it is wrong to use people for something that you want. 

According to the Kantians, they would say that the NFL isn’t necessarily using their players, but there is something that the Kants would not like what they do. What they wouldn’t like is the fact that the NFL has a system of cutting players, and having these players play through these times right now. These athletes who are cut, bust their behinds as hard as they can in order to make the team. Unfortunately coaches or general managers do not keep everyone on their team because that is just simply how it goes. Kants wouldn’t like that the NFL is making these players play in a deadly pandemic, because it isn’t showing that they are being greatly driven by goodwill. These players are being exposed and having the chance of exposing their loved ones, or their family members. This does not show that the NFL is not acting rationale towards the athletes in the league.   

Action Plan 

There are ways that the National Football league can step up their game when it comes to dealing with COVID-19. Even before the season began, players were posting on twitter or on any social media that they don’t feel like it is safe to have a season. I know that these athletes have enough money in order to take a season off so why play? 

In my opinion, I think that the National Football League should have all the teams quarantine because that is the sacrifice they will have to make in order to have a normal season. They should also enforce by throwing people out of the league if certain players do not want to follow rules. For example, for the titans situation, I think some of those players with no doubt in my mind should have been suspended for putting other people in danger like that. These players can pay fines like it is 20 dollars. Let’s see their face when they are kicked out of the league for not following proper protocols that the league is enforcing. I also think that these teams should start being properly “Social Distanced” on the sideline. I say this because they are putting people in danger by not doing it. I know there are tons of players on the sideline, however that shouldn’t be an excuse. The NFL should set up make the sidelines longer so that the athletes are not so much on top of each other. Lastly, what I think that should happen is a locker room restriction. There should not be a full team in the locker room at once. They should have like 10-12 in the locker room at once and then once they are ready to go bring in the next group, having all those people in a locker room is unbelievably risky. If these moves are not made anytime soon, I would be afraid to see what the future holds for these guys.  

Reference Page 

/ by Darren Hartwell. “How Belichick Feels the Pats Are Handling COVID-19 Response.” RSN, 8 Oct. 2020, 

Beaton, Andrew. “The NFL's Thanksgiving Weekend Has Become a Covid Crisis.” The Wall Street Journal, Dow Jones & Company, 29 Nov. 2020, 

Gaines, Cork. “The 32 NFL Teams Are Worth as Much as Every MLB and NBA Team Combined.” Business Insider, Business Insider, 15 Sept. 2016, 

Ian Rapoport, Tom Pelissero. “Titans Fined $350K for COVID-19 Violations; Raiders Could Be Next.”, NFL, 25 Oct. 2020, 

“Jim Thorpe.”, A&E Networks Television, 14 Oct. 2020, 

“National Football League.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 29 Nov. 2020, 

“Walter Camp.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 28 Nov. 2020, 

/ by Lia Assimakopoulos. “NFL Will Display Social Justice Statements in the End Zone This Season.” RSN, 1 Sept. 2020,

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