NFLPA rejected request to make flu shots mandatory this season


With the pandemic still doing what pandemics tend to do, the prevailing advice from medical professionals is that everyone should get a flu shot this year, not because it will prevent COVID-10 but because it could be very bad to have both the flu and COVID-19, either at the same time or one after another.

In that vein, the NFL previously asked the NFL Players Association to make flu shots mandatory for all players this year. The NFLPA declined, per a source with knowledge of the situation.

Many situations like this become matters of collective bargaining, and rightfully so. The league for years resisted making unilteral changes to the marijuana policy not because the changes need to be made (they do), but because it was a matter of collective bargaining. Which means that the NFL isn’t willing to make changes unless the NFLPA gives the NFL something in return.

So when the NFL wanted to make flu shots mandatory, the NFLPA had every right to say “no,” regardless of whether it’s the right thing to do. In a collective bargaining environment, one side often will resist things suggested by the other side that are in the mutual interests of management and labor, simply because the other side asked for it.

That’s likely what happened here. Regardless, it makes sense for all players — and everyone else — to get a flu shot this year.