Top NFL coach diagnosed with COVID-19

Sean Payton, New Orleans Saints coach. (Photo:

The New Orleans Saints Sean Payton became the first head coach of a major US sporting organisation to be diagnosed with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Payton told ESPN that he wanted to reveal his diagnosis to help other people recognize the severity of the virus and to heed all warnings and advisories from government officials. He said that he was fatigued but didn’t have a fever or a cough and had one of the milder cases of the virus.

He said he was also making sure to practice good quarantine protocols while he was sick.

“This is not just about social distancing,” Payton told ESPN. “It’s shutting down here for a week to two weeks. If people understand the curve, and understand the bump, we can easily work together as a country to reduce it. Take a minute to understand what the experts are saying. It’s not complicated to do what they’re asking of us. Just that type of small investment by every one of us will have a dramatic impact.

“I was fortunate to be in the minority, without the serious side effects that some have. I’m lucky. Younger people feel like they can handle this, but they can be a carrier to someone who can’t handle it. So, we all need to do our part. It’s important for every one of us to do our part.”

Payton’s revelation comes after numerous National Basketball Association (NBA) players have tested positive for COVID-19. Members of Major League Baseball (MLB) organisations have also tested positive.