(Reuters) - The novel coronavirus has forced the National Football League to take Thursday’s draft online but players hoping to be picked will still have a dress code to adhere to -- hence lounging around in pajamas will definitely not be an option.
With 58 of the top college prospects connected virtually, the NFL issued a memo detailing what they expect to see online if or when commissioner Roger Goodell announces their name from the basement of his Bronxville, N.Y. home.
Traditionally, when Goodell steps up to the microphone to announce each franchise’s first pick, he is joined on stage by sharply dressed players for a photograph while presenting them with team ball cap or jersey.
This year it will be a virtual handshake and while the NFL stopped short of telling players what exactly to wear, the league has issued a long list of what is not acceptable, including fashions that might be deemed political statements.
The memo, obtained by Pro Football Talk on Sunday, detailed that there should be no third party logos, no explicit language, or racial, religious, or ethnic slurs.
Players cannot be seen wearing a brand logo that does not belong to one of the NFL’s official licensed partners.
Also not tolerated will be any clothing referencing alcohol, gambling, tobacco products (including e-cigarettes), obscene, pornographic (or escort services), violent (including firearms or other weapons), or sexual imagery.
Players will also have to make sure any backdrop is sanitized of products, brands or logos not approved by the NFL.
In order to help with this effort, the league has shipped a “welcome kit” of NFL approved products to all potential top draft picks.
If players do not agree to these conditions, they are free to opt out of the live draft day activities.
Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto; Editing by Pritha Sarkar
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