NFL Fans Got Off A Bunch Of Jokes After Dak Prescott Inaccurately Used HIPAA To Avoid A Vaccine Question

The COVID-19 vaccine has been readily available for all U.S. citizens for months now, and on Thursday, the NFL made clear that they very much want every player to get it. In a memo sent out to all 32 teams, the league said that a COVID-19 outbreak among unvaccinated members of a team would not lead to games getting moved around, as they were last season.

Instead, teams that suffer said outbreak would forfeit the game, accept a loss in the standings, and prevent players on both teams from getting their game checks. It’s very much a “the carrot didn’t work, so here’s the stick” approach from the league, but in response, some players have taken some strange approaches.

Some, like DeAndre Hopkins of the Arizona Cardinals, floated the possibility of just not playing football if need be (Hopkins since deleted his tweet and walked it back). And then, there have been guys like Dak Prescott of the Dallas Cowboys, who are asked about whether they got vaccinated and cite HIPAA.

This is not HIPAA. Known in full as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, HIPAA basically means — at least in this context, and to be clear, this is an overly-simplified definition — that healthcare professionals can’t reveal your medical information. It does not mean that a reporter is not allowed to ask you if you got the COVID-19 vaccine. You can just respond by saying, “I do not want to answer this question,” which you can do on any other number of subjects! This same conversation is happening in the world of politics right now, because one particular politician is doing this exact same thing. Regardless of the job, this is not a HIPAA violation.

Anyway, Prescott got some egg on his face for this, because in the aftermath, a bunch of folks took to Twitter and made HIPAA jokes.

If you’d like to learn more about what HIPAA is an isn’t, click here.