The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) paid the NFL Alumni Association $3.5 million to promote the coronavirus vaccine, according to a report from TMZ.
According to U.S. Federal Procurement documents obtained by TMZ, the CDC, and the NFL Alumni Association entered into the agreement in May.
“The [CDC] intends to award a sole source firm fixed price purchase order to The NFL Alumni Association (NFLA),” the document states, according to TMZ Sports. “The overall purpose of this contract is to facilitate collaboration among NFL Alumni and federal state and local public health officials as well as other local leaders to address vaccine hesitancy through communication and engagement with communities less likely to get vaccinated. . . . The CDC Vaccine Task Force will work directly with the NFLA to promote community-level and national COVID-19 education outreach and vaccination acceptance.”
(Justin Casterline/Getty Images)
The intent of the program is to use the popularity of NFL legends connected to the Alumni Association, to influence fans to get vaccinated.
“The NFL Alumni’s website features pro-COVID-19 vax testimonials from former NFL stars like Franco Harris, Rod Woodson and Harry Carson, amongst others,” according to TMZ Sports.
“The site also has a ‘Vaccination Tracker’ and a link to access vax locations.”
(Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
While the CDC has reached out to former players to help promote the virus, many current players such as Buffalo’s Cole Beasley, Arizona’s DeAndre Hopkins, and Tampa’s Leonard Fournette, have spoken out against the league’s attempt to cajole players into getting vaccinated through restrictive testing and distancing mandates.
“The CDC Vaccine Task Force will work directly with the NFLA to promote community-level and national COVID-19 education outreach and vaccination acceptance,” the CDC’s Notice of Intent reads.