Nick Wass/Associated Press
Before they can exchange jerseys, NFL players will first have to exchange addresses.
Among the many changes for the upcoming season amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the NFL prohibited players from swapping jerseys at the end of games. According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, jersey swaps are sticking around, but the process will be a bit more complex:
Tom Pelissero @TomPelissero
Jersey exchanges are back on for 2020 — sort of.
The NFL informed clubs tonight it is partnering with Tide, which will cover the cost of one replacement jersey per player — all washed first and exchanged by mail.
On-field exchanges prohibited, and subject to club discipline. https://t.co/c7hJeDDvVy
A number of players criticized the league’s initial rule, questioning how trading jerseys warranted special consideration given how much close contact happens over the course of a game.
The tradition of jersey exchanges is more commonly associated with soccer. The New York Times‘ Billy Witz wrote it dates back to at least 1931 and carries a number of different interpretations. The practice has grown exponentially in the NFL in recent years.
Doing so sets players back a pretty penny. NBC Sports Bay Area’s Matt Maiocco reported giving away game-worn jerseys comes with a $500 price tag for those who take part.
It appears that won’t be the case for at least one jersey during the 2020 season, though.
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