Sports | August 2, 2021 12:05 pm

Report: CDC Paid NFL Alumni Association $3.5 Million to Promote COVID-19 Vaccine

The NFLA took the cash to run a campaign to "help build COVID-19 vaccination confidence"

A dose of the Biontech/Pfizer vaccine
A syringe filled with a dose of the Biontech/Pfizer vaccine against the coronavirus.
Stefan Sauer via Getty

To help the United States tackle the coronavirus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention paid the NFL Alumni association $3.5 million to promote the COVID-19 vaccine, according to TMZ Sports.

Agreed to in May, the terms of the deal say the cash is for the  “NFL Alumni (NFLA) Health COVID-19 Vaccination Community Outreach and Education Project.”

Coincidentally, the association announced today it was partnering with the CDC on an outreach and education initiative to “help build COVID-19 vaccination confidence.” Featuring more than 40 current and retired NFL players (including 20 Super Bowl champions, 25 Pro Bowlers, and 15 members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame like Rod Woodson, Jerry Rice and Cris Carter), the national campaign “will encourage the public to make the decision to protect themselves, their families and their communities by getting vaccinated.”

“As a country, we’ve done a lot — individually and collectively — to help end the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19,” said NFL Alumni Association CEO Beasley Reece. “We may be in the proverbial ‘red zone,’ but the fight isn’t over. We hope that the voices of our NFL Alumni will help inspire people who have not yet been vaccinated to explore their concerns with a health care professional, get the facts and decide to protect themselves and others.”

Additional Pro Football Hall of Famers participating in the campaign include Derrick Brooks, Brian Dawkins, Howie Long, John Randle, Andre Reed and Marshall Faulk.

“I sought more information about COVID-19 vaccines before getting mine,” Faulk said. “It’s understandable that people have questions. It’s an important decision. I want to encourage people to share what’s on their minds and get the facts so they can take charge of their own health and help protect others.”

Prior to awarding the NFL Alumni association, a non-profit group made up of former NFL players, coaches, executives, spouses and cheerleaders that fully owns the NFL Alumni Health subsidiary, with the cash, the CDC issued a Notice of Intent about the grant.

“The [CDC] intends to award a sole source firm fixed price purchase order to the NFL Alumni Association (NFLA),” it states. “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.”

Hopefully, the NFLA can start working with the NFLPA