The NFL Draft will look a little different this year, but the league wants everyone to still look their best. The 2020 Draft will be virtual, as the coronavirus pandemic has made it impossible to safely carry out the event in person. Coaches and front offices will be live on their computers, hoping their Zoom call doesn't get hacked.
The NFL wants to avoid scandal as much as they can, so they are implementing a dress code for the virtual draft. Players usually hang in the back room, waiting for their name to get called by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell as fans flood the area dressed up in team gear, waiting to see who will join their favorite squad. They tend to be dressed in suits while on location, and occasionally they'll go more casual (see: Brett Favre) when checking in from home.
Many of these rules, according to Yahoo, are obvious, and bringing me back to high school dress codes days.
Clothes that include explicit language, racial, religious, or ethnic slurs are prohibited. Players are also not allowed to wear items that allude to or directly references tobacco, drugs, alcohol, gambling or anything that puts the NFL in a bad light. Political statements and anything violent or sexual is not allowed either.
That's not all, though. The league also does not want any brands that are not sponsors of the NFL to be promoted on the calls. If they don't appear in the league, the league doesn't want them. Other leagues cannot be promoted either. Any sport that is not the NFL cannot be displayed in any way. I guess projected No. 1 overall pick Joe Burrow won't be showing any LSU pride.
The league is being thorough, and adding that there cannot be references to pharmaceutical products, over-the-counter medications, nutritional substances and "products commonly referred to as 'energy drinks.'" Don't drink "Monster" to celebrate the draft, Tua Tagovailoa.
Why yes, since you asked, they not only cannot wear these items, they cannot be shown on camera either. The NFL wants zero funny business.
To help ensure draftees adhere to these rules, the league sent them a "welcome kit," according to Pro Football Talk.
If a player is seen with anything other than Bose headphones, if they have an outfit that does not comply, or if any of these restricted items are in the camera shot, they will not be shown during the broadcast.
In case you lost track of all the rules (I don't blame you) here is a summary:
- Nothing with explicit language
- Nothing with racial, religious, or ethnic slurs
- Nothing referencing tobacco, drugs, alcohol or gambling
- Nothing that disparages the NFL
- No political statements
- Nothing with violent or sexual images
- No non-NFL sports
- No products not sponsored by the league
To be safe, draftees, clear your house of everything so nothing in camera view violates the rules. And wear a suit.