‘You would take it’: Aussie NFL punter happy to go behind closed doors

Los Angeles: Australian punter Michael Dickson says he would prefer to play in empty stadiums than have the NFL season cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The NFL season is scheduled to begin on September 10, but pre-season training camps and programs for Dickson's Seattle Seahawks and the league's other teams are indefinitely on hold.

Former Sydney Swans academy member Michael Dickson, left, is realistic about the upcoming NFL season.Credit:Getty

US TV networks pay the NFL more than $US5 billion ($7.88b) annually to broadcast games, adding pressure for the season to start without fans in stadiums if social distancing is required.

"If that's the worst case scenario and we had to have no fans in order to have a season go ahead you would take it," Dickson, in a discussion with Seattle high school students, said according to the Seattle Times.

"It wouldn't be as good, but I'd rather have a season with no fans than no season at all.

"A lot of it can be done through TV and you still have that sense of community through online, so if it's just for one year and we have to do it, we have to do it."

Dickson and Seahawks' teammate, safety Quandre Diggs, surprised students from Seattle's Summit Sierra High School last week.

The duo dropped into the school's virtual classes to talk to students about a variety of topics.

With schools closed across America students and teachers have continued classes via video conferencing.

Dickson, a 24-year-old former Sydney Swans talent academy member, is entering his third season with the Seahawks.

AAP

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