Although it was a very promising season for the Jacksonville Jaguars on the field, that success did not translate to the locker room. A reported rat infestation is just one of the reasons the team was lambasted by an NFL Players Association survey this week.
The team received an “F grade” from the NFLPA following a survey of over 1,000 players about “everything from the state of team facilities to treatment of families,” according to Adam Stites of Jags Wire.
The main problem from the report were complaints from Jaguars players regarding a rat infestation:
“As one of the worst ranked franchises in the league, there was no shortage of complaints shared by the player respondents. When asked what the number one thing they want changed at their facility, the answer was unanimous – get rid of the rats!” the report shockingly stated. “Players reported that for 3-4 weeks this season, there was a rat infestation in the locker room and laundry hampers.”
That's simply unbelievable for a National Football League franchise. And it wasn't just the rats that helped the team earn an “F.”
The Jaguars were also criticized for its treatment of families: “The team is one of 14 in the NFL that doesn’t have a family room and one of 11 that doesn’t offer daycare in the stadium. Wives of players have breastfed on the floor of the public restroom in the stadium,” writes the report.
Besides those glaring issues, the quality of food given to players was also reportedly way under the standard; it was ranked 27th in the NFL.
Although these are issues that need to be addressed immediately heading into next season, 95 percent of players believe that owner Shad Khan will invest the money to make the necessary changes in 2023.
Team general manager Trent Baalke said that the Jaguars are “an organization that players now want to play for,” per Jaguars Wire.
That may be true on the field, but the front office clearly needs to get the standards up to par before that can really be true. And getting rid of the rat infestation permanently would also go a long way.