NFL Cancels Cowboys-Steelers Hall of Fame Game Due to COVID-19

The Hall of Fame's August enshrinement ceremony is also being postponed

NFL Cancels Cowboys-Steelers Hall of Fame Game
General view of the main entrance to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. (Joe Robbins/Getty)
Getty Images
By Evan Bleier / June 25, 2020 9:40 am

A week or so after Ohio Governor Mike DeWine indicated it might have to happen, the NFL has canceled the Hall of Fame Game between the Dallas Cowboys and Pittsburgh Steelers in Canton that was set to open the league’s preseason on August 6.

In conjunction with the cancellation, the Hall of Fame’s August 8 enshrinement ceremony is being postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

It’s the first major event the NFL has had to outright cancel because of the coronavirus as the league was able to shift the format of its draft to hold it virtually and also allowed free agency to be conducted as normal, albeit with social distancing.

The league has asked players to hold off on conducting group workouts before training camp begins, a request which has fallen on deaf ears in Tampa Bay. As it stands now, the majority of teams are scheduled to report to training camp on July 28, but that could change depending on what happens with the virus in the next month.

The 23,000 tickets for the August game between the Steelers and Cowboys sold out in an hour indicating there were plenty of fans who were willing to attend in person, COVID-19 concerns be damned. The game is expected to be played in Canton in 2021.

Had the game been played, it would have been our first chance to see if players decided to kneel during the playing of the national anthem. Earlier this week, Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin said he is comfortable with his players speaking out about social justice as long as it is done “thoughtfully and with class.”

“Our position is simple,” Tomlin said. “We are going to support our players and their willingness to partake in this, whether it is statements or actions. You guys know my feelings, I have stated them in the past. Statements are good, but impact is better. Particularly long-term impact.”

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