NFL Denies Employees Skipped Line at COVID Testing Site amid 'Outrage'

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVDecember 21, 2021

NFL logo on the field during an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 5, 2021, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Rick Osentoski)
AP Photo/Rick Osentoski

The NFL has denied that five employees were allowed to skip the line for COVID-19 testing in New York City, per Josh Peter of USA Today.

Jake Offenhartz of Gothamist reported Monday that NFL personnel were given preferential treatment at a state-partnered BioReference testing facility, "sparking outrage among the 100 or so people huddled in the cold who said they’d spent hours queued up for pre-scheduled appointments."

An employee at the facility told Offenhartz they were instructed to treat the NFL workers first when they arrived.

League spokesman Brian McCarthy said those employees had previously arranged appointments and had done pre-screening to expedite the process. 

"It was members of the football operations department that are in contact with club and stadium personnel to ensure gameday operations," McCarthy said in a statement. "They work closely with officials at the league who are responsible for replay reviews and are in contact with officials on the field."

The NFL unusually had two games on Monday night, with the Cleveland Browns' game against the Las Vegas Raiders rescheduled from Saturday due to COVID-19 issues.

While the league personnel were able to get in and out of the facility in a hurry, others with appointments said they had to wait up to three hours.