Long Awaited Return of The NFL


Football is back, along with the Coronavirus, controversies, and name changes.

The 2020 global pandemic left sports fans with nothing to watch other than reruns of older games. This past March, all active sports and their players were shut down, with no set date on when they would return. The NFL football season ended earlier in the year, avoiding the Coronavirus outbreak and a postponed season. As the football season kicks off, fans all over are curious, will they get to see their teams play out a full season?

Unfortunately due to the Coronavirus, it’s necessary that numerous precautions were placed on the long awaited start of the season. Beginning in late July, players  returned to their training camps preparing to take the field. On Aug 17, teams began their full-contact practices. 

Unlike the NBA, WNBA, and NHL, there is no “bubble” for players and staff to distance themselves in. These circumstances worried many fans, but epidemiologist Zachary Binney publicly reassured them everything will be fine. Binney spoke on the events regarding the Miami Marlins, where players and staff members tested positive for COVID-19. “If you’re the NFL and you’re looking at what happened with the Marlins,” said Binney, “you have to expect that something like this is going to happen to you — unless you are able to change course, re-enter negotiations with the [NFL Players Association], and negotiate something like that home-market bubble.”

The NFL claimed they have tried their best to answer all concerns regarding the possibility of spreading COVID-19. Stadiums even allowed fewer fans into the stands to enjoy their favorite teams.

The first game of the season took place Thursday, Sep 10 and included the Houston Texans and the reigning super bowl champions, the Kansas City Chiefs, in Kansas City. The night kicked off with both teams taking a pregame “Moment of Unity,” which was greeted with boos in the stadium as the two teams and coaching staff assembled to reflect the NFL players’ choice to bring light to social and racial injustice. “The booing was unfortunate during that moment,” said Texas defensive end, J.J. Watt.  “I don’t fully understand that. There was no flag involved, there was nothing involved with that besides two teams coming together to show unity.” 

With the help of other big sports stars and celebrities, racial injustice has been unveiled within the organization. Because of this, the NFL team, The Washington Football Team, has undergone an evident name change. Formerly known as the Washington Redskins, the team decided to change the all Native American imagery and their long considered racist name and logos.

Dan Synder, the Washington Football Team owner, waited until this summer to finally make the change, claiming his hand was forced by an outside pressure he could not ignore any longer. While the name Washington Football Team is only temporary, the team asked everyone to remain supportive as they experience this modification.