The most important ability in pro football, they say, is availability. The NFL acronym stands for Not For Long, and you can't make the club in the tub.
But you can't just come out and say you prefer vaccinated players to unvaccinated ones if you're an NFL head coach, or else there could be major consequences.
That's a lesson Urban Meyer is learning today, where his entirely reasonable comments triggered major clean-up by his employer.
"Everyone was considered. [Vaccination status] was part of the the production, 'Let's start talking about this, and also is he vaccinated or not?' Can I say that that was a decision maker? It was certainly in consideration," he said.
Even though everything in the NFL's handling of unvaccinated players is stricter than their vaxxed counterparts; even though unvaccinated players are at much greater risk of missing time than vaccinated players; and even though plenty of employers have mandated the vaccine ever since Pfizer received full FDA approval, full-on discrimination against unvaccinated players would require the collectively-bargained approval of the NFL Players' Association, which the NFL does not have.
And so the NFLPA said this on Wednesday:
“These comments have led us to open an investigation.”
Which led the Jaguars to say this:
Will any of this stop the Jags or their 31 peers from considering vaccination status when juggling whether or not to bring a player onto their active roster? Of course not. Again, given the way the NFL's protocols are set up, the tie is going to break the vaccinated player's way every time.
But this episode will certainly stop any NFL coach or executive from telling the truth moving forward.