A video of Boston College football players celebrating after a comeback win against Texas State has caused some controversy on social media. But the college says the team is following safety protocols amid the COVID pandemic.
“The team celebrated for a short period of time, roughly 30-60 seconds after the win,” said Jason Baum, senior associate athletic director for Boston College.
The players in the video, tweeted out by Boston College, had all been recently tested and quarantined until the game, he said.
“Per ACC regulations, the Boston College football team is tested three times per week for COVID-19,” he said. “The team was tested Friday afternoon and was quarantined in a hotel until the game on Saturday. The momentary post-game celebration in the locker room involved team members who had zero positive COVID-19 tests.”
Boston College said that out of the 3,700 tests that have been administered among the football team since they returned to campus in early June, only one test has come back positive. They also noted they will continue their regular testing, which includes three tests a week.
Newton City Councilor Alicia Bowman shared the video on Twitter noting her disapproval saying, “#COVID19 is real and deadly but clearly no one here cares about that.”
“As an elected official in #NewtonMA where much of the @BostonCollege campus is located, this video upsets me,” Bowman’s tweet said. “@BCFootball players do not live in a bubble. #COVID19 is real and deadly but clearly no one here cares about that.”
She also pointed out that Boston College has recently had more than 100 students tested positive for COVID-19 with the Baker administration stepping in to conduct contact tracing, hoping to contain the outbreak. She also pointed to a study about false negatives.
“The chance of false negatives seems pretty high,” her tweet said.
The school announced it was suspending activities for its men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams after members tested positive for COVID-19, NBC Boston reported.
Locker rooms have been the subject of talk during the pandemic. The NFL made changes to its locker room protocols earlier this year. Recently the Las Vegas Raiders came under an NFL investigation for allowing unauthorized locker room access, ESPN reported.
Only 40 employees in each NFL organization are allowed to be in the locker room, which include the coaching staff, the athletic training staff, the equipment staff, the general manager, one member of team security and one member of the team’s public relations/communications department, ESPN reported.
The NFL suggests 6 feet of space between players or to install physical dividers. Players are also required to maintain physical distancing in the locker room “to the extent possible.”
Bowman said in her tweets, the NCAA recommends “minimizing time spent in crowded environments.” But the organization does not have specific requirements. She also noted she wasn’t sure what Boston College’s protocols were for its locker rooms.
Baum said after the team celebrated on Saturday, they “quickly returned to the COVID-19 protocols it has strictly followed, and will continue to adhere to these protocols to help ensure the safety of our team members and the well-being of the BC and neighboring communities.”