Mark Davis on upcoming NFL Draft and coronavirus: ‘Health and safety will always be No. 1’

The norms of professional and collegiate sports have been shaken to its foundation with the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the NFL has largely evaded its ill-effects to this point thanks to a down time in the league’s calendar. That may soon change, however, with two rather high profile events on the horizon. 

The first is the annual owner meetings down in Palm Beach, Florida. Those meetings are scheduled to begin on March 29 and run through April 1. After that comes the NFL Draft, which takes place in Las Vegas from April 23-25. The latter may be the most impacted by the coronavirus as it entails fans coming in from all across the globe, attending the festivities throughout the course of those three days and also includes draftees taking the stage while hugging and shaking hands with commissioner Roger Goodell. 

Given the fact that various other leagues and venues are trying to minimize large gatherings to prevent further spread of the pandemic, it wouldn’t come as too much of a shock to see the NFL alter their strategy for the the draft. 

“The league office, the players association and the city and the state are working together,” Raiders owner Mark Davis told Michael Gehlken of The Dallas Morning News as it relates to how the parties will deal with the 2020 NFL Draft. “They’re making a measured decision. Health and safety will always be No. 1.”

“They’ll make the correct decision,” Davis added. “They won’t put anyone in jeopardy over it.”

This all comes off the heels of the NCAA electing to the play the 2020 NCAA  Tournament without any fans in attendance due to growing concerns about the pandemic. The NBA has also suspended its season in the wake of Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert testing positive for coronavirus. 

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