The NFL is reportedly looking at doing away with live national anthem performances during the coronavirus pandemic.
The league is looking to limit the number of people on the sidelines during games in order to protect the players from being exposed to the virus, according to a report published Monday by Front Office Sports.
BREAKING: NFL won’t allow National Anthem singers on-field this year. ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ will still be played. But due to COVID-19 concerns, performers will have to pre-tape the anthem – or have their rendition piped in live from an outside venue. https://t.co/K1noWg81iw
— Michael McCarthy (@MMcCarthyREV) August 10, 2020
“This year will be different due to COVID concerns,” a source told the outlet. “They want to limit the number of people around the players on the field.”
The NFL did not comment on the report.
The national anthem will still be played before the games, but just not live in the stadium, according to the report. The performer will either sing the anthem in another location while it streams live into the stadium, or the artist will have the option to pre-record the performance. (RELATED: REPORT: The NFL Has Had 56 Cases Of Coronavirus Since The Start Of Training Camp)
The amount of photographers and press allowed on the sidelines during the games will also be limited, Front Office Sports reported.
The news comes as changes to the NFL season have already been announced. Some teams have seemingly decided fans will not be allowed in stadiums at all including the New York Giants and the Philadelphia Eagles.
“Decisions on the number of fans at stadiums will be determined on market-by-market basis with guidance from public health experts & in accordance with local/state guidelines,” the NFL said in a statement to NBC Sports.