Could The NFL Boycott A Game – In the wake of the Jacob Blake shooting, it looked like the NBA might cancel the playoffs in protest. Several MLB teams refused to play as did MLS teams, the WNBA, and the NHL. As for NFL teams, many did decide to cancel practice, but one possibility will remain in the air all season.
Will a team choose to boycott a game?
New York Giants stars Saquan Barkley and Sterling Shepard recognized it could happen while talking with reporters Thursday:
“I can’t really just go and speak on behalf of the whole league, but, for us, that is something that we’re going to talk about within our [social justice] groups, within our team,” Barkley said, via ESPN. “What’s talked about in players meetings stays in players meetings.”
Shepard stayed on message saying it was something the team was going to discuss, but otherwise refusing to comment about it.
Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll was asked about the possibility during a recent press conference:
“Anything’s possible. I mentioned to the players this is the year — the protest season. It’s the season of protesting. And we’ll handle ourselves as we do. This is a protest that doesn’t have an end to it until all the problems go away. And we solve the issues and stuff…”
This possibility is something that Roger Goodell should have already considered. Maybe he has, and the plan is something he chose not to share. But maybe he has not. However, with only one bye week this season, it will be next to impossible to reschedule games (which would, of course, defeat the purpose of a boycott).
But if it were to happen, Goodell better have a plan in place to deal with two teams (or more) playing one less game than everyone else. If not, the playoff picture could get real messy.