As NFL teams consider how many fans may safely attend home games this season, the league has taken the extra step of requiring that all spectators wear face masks during the 2020 season.
NFL spokesperson Brian McCarthy tweeted the news Tuesday. Sports Illustrated reported that the requirement supersedes any state or local policies pertaining to mask-wearing.
McCarthy's tweet was met by fans tweeting photos of themselves wearing their masks, often adorned with their team's branding, accompanied by messages such as "I'm ready!"
Tweeted one fan, "I don’t like wearing a mask. It’s uncomfortable. My sunglasses fog up. But if people wearing masks has the possibility of increasing our chances for a full NFL season (even by 0.1%) I will gladly wear that mask. I do not want to lose this season."
The hope is that masks, along with the social distancing afforded by temporarily reduced capacities, will mitigate the potential transmission of coronavirus among fans.
On Wednesday, the Falcons became the latest team to announce that they will have a limited capacity of between 10,000 and 20,000 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium for home games. Also this week, the Green Bay Packers revealed that they are looking at Lambeau Field crowds of 10,000 to 12,000. The Los Angeles Rams announced Tuesday that their new SoFi Stadium will be "at limited or no capacity" this season, according to SI.
Colleges and universities are taking similar precautions in terms of limited attendance, however it remains to be seen whether the NCAA or individual conferences will mandate the wearing of masks.