An overlooked aspect of sports in a COVID-19 world is the sacrifices that players and coaches make to play the game.
These sacrifices often include spending large periods of time away from family in order to keep everyone as isolated as possible. Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy knows this struggle all too well.
The eighth-year NFL assistant was forced to go to much greater lengths in order to protect his family through the 2020 season.
Starting from the beginning of training camp and extending all the way through the Chiefs’ Super Bowl loss, Bieniemy lived by himself in a Kansas City hotel. The veteran coach made this decision to maintain the safety of his immunocompromised son, Eric Bieniemy III. The 26 year old lives with cerebral palsy and respiratory issues — both making him a high-risk for COVID-19.
Speaking to Sports Illustrated prior to this year’s Super Bowl, Bienemy understated his struggle saying, “It’s been like this way for the past sixth months. It’s been a challenge.”
The coach’s living arrangement had not been made public until today when the coach highlighted his struggles with Jenny Vrentas of Sports Illustrated:
“To keep him safe, Bieniemy made this private sacrifice for the entirety of the 2020 season: He would stay in a hotel six nights out of the week and only return home on Fridays—but wearing double masks, keeping a distance and sleeping in the basement.”
With the NFL offseason now in full swing, hopefully Bieniemy can take some short-and-sweet time off with his family.