NFL closes the book on other fake vaccination cards (until someone else doesn’t pay their live-in chef)

·3 min read

Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians, who found out the hard way this week that two of his current players had tendered fake vaccination cards to the team, gets it. He knows that the chances his roster is the only one having players who used fake vaccination cards falls somewhere below slim and none. And he hopes the league will fully and fairly search for other fake cards.

It’s more clear than ever that the league won’t be doing that, at least not until a claim of another fake vaccination card falls into its lap via a media report.

On Thursday, the NFL told PFT that 80 percent of all vaccinated players received their shots on site, and that the league was told by the other teams that there was no difference in positive COVID result rates between the 80 percent who got their shots on site and the 20 percent who got supposedly got vaccinated away from the building. Armed with that conclusion, the league apparently decided that there are no other fake vaccination cards, anywhere in the league.

On Sunday, ESPN has essentially repackaged the same report, without delving into the details that demonstrate the lack of a logical connection between comparable positivity rates between on-site and off-site vaccinations and the question of whether any of the other NFL players who claim to have been vaccinated off site actually tendered a fake card. ESPN’s report, especially given the manner in which it was delivered on camera by Adam Schefter (“Bruce Arians wanted more action, the league has been taking more action”), creates the unwarranted impression that the NFL is actually investigating whether other players have tendered fake vaccination cards. Indeed, based on a report from Mark Maske of the Washington Post that “no other players are under active investigation” for submitting a fake vaccination card, it’s clear that the NFL has decided not to do what it should be doing, opting instead to come up with a cockamamie formula to justify not turning over rocks and searching aggressively for other fake cards that INEVITABLY exist.

The NFL should be actively vetting the legitimacy of each of the vaccination cards from the 20 percent of the players who claim to have been vaccinated at a place other than the team facility. It wouldn’t be easy, but as the league acknowledges 80 percent of the players were vaccinated on site. Only one out of five vaccinated players tendered cards based on vaccinations gotten elsewhere. That’s the full universe of the potential fake cards.

If the league truly cares about the possibility that unvaccinated players are masquerading as vaccinated and potentially infecting vaccinated players and staff (including coaches who are elderly and/or who may have other conditions that make them vulnerable to a serious outcome), the league shouldn’t just sit back and wait for the next published report quoting a live-in chef whose bill wasn’t paid.

Really, if Brown had just paid Steven Ruiz, no one would know that Brown and Edwards tendered fake vaccination cards. How many other players have fake vaccination cards, but are also dumb enough to motivate someone in their inner circle to blow the whistle?

So far, none. If it stays that way, we’ll never know about any other players tendering fake vaccination cards, because the primary takeaway based on the various comments and reports is that the league has decided not to do what needs to be done, if it truly cares about the integrity of the vaccination cards. With an assist from ESPN, however, the league has managed to create the false impression that it actually cares about fake vaccination cards.

NFL closes the book on other fake vaccination cards (until someone else doesn’t pay their live-in chef) originally appeared on Pro Football Talk

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