The NFL will ban national anthem singers from games in the upcoming season to help contain the spread of the coronavirus, a new report claims.
Michael McCarthy with Front Office Sports tweeted the report as breaking news Monday.
The objective is to strictly limit the number of people on the sidelines who can potentially infect players and coaches with COVID-19, said sources. By the same token, the league will also crackdown on the number of credentialed reporters and photographers with access to the playing field. Given the pandemic, the number of medical personnel on the sidelines will remain the same.
The “Star-Spangled Banner” will still be played before each NFL game, said sources. But the anthem will not be performed live, such as the annual Super Bowl anthem performance most recently sung by Demi Lovato before Super Bowl LIV in February.
Instead, the league’s 32 teams may ask performers to sing the anthem off-site, then pipe it live inside their stadium, or have singers pre-record the anthem elsewhere, then play their rendition before kickoff.
The NFL declined to comment.
Starting Week 1, NFL players will be able to wear helmet decals bearing the names or initials of George Floyd and other victims of police violence.