There’s still a very good chance that there will be pro football this year, but actions over the weekend indicate that many players are ready to pull the plug if necessary. Several NFL players decided to send lots of messages via Twitter in order to push for the start of the season on time, but only if one thing happens – that the league follows the health guidelines given by the experts on the training camps. The NFL players showed their concerns about protocols due to the COVID-19 pandemic and nobody can, at this point, feel confident that there will be a 2020 season.
Many of the players who wrote tweets used the hashtag #WeWantToPlay to draw attention to the issue, and they require a prompt response and action from the league, so safety protocols and conditions are properly set.
NFL Players Aren’t Happy With COVID-19 Protocols
It seems that the massive tweets had an important impact on the NFL scenario. The idea behind the tweets came from Byron Jones of the Miami Dolphins. His intention was to raise awareness to the fans and public to let them know that the NFL players need safe conditions and solid COVID-19 protocols to play. Jones says that this is not just about making money or showing up on the training camps.
On the same matter, there are more NFL players who demand a safe start of the 2020 season. Michael Thomas asked commissioner Roger Goodell to adopt the example of other leagues like NBA, which players were assigned in a bubble, and they are required to follow strict health guidelines. Thomas also tweeted that Adam Silver heard the petitions of NBA players, and he took an important step to protect them. Therefore, he questions why Goodell does not do the same. This could be lack of organization or vision.
Other players raised concerns for different reasons. Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks showed his concern about his pregnant wife. He tweeted about this as the main aspect that keeps him worried, as the NFL training camps are going to start this week, and there is not an established COVID-19 plan about health and family safety protocols. Wilson says that the players want to play, but, at the same time, they want to protect their loved ones.
The NFLPA Didn’t Coerce Players Into Action
A source indicates that the NFLPA didn’t advise the players to tweet. JC Tretter, the President of the NFLPA, mentioned on Twitter that the players are joining forces to be heard; they are concerned about their future as members of the NFL and also their health. He also said that the league must pay attention to health officials’ recommendations, which is vital for the future of the whole league and its financial survival. However, Tretter’s message will be considered as a factual statement and it persuades the NFLPA to come up with a prompt action.
NFL 2020 Season May Be On The Ropes
One of the sad things is that, if a quick action is not taken, there could be no 2020 season. It seems that the NFL is taking too long to establish necessary COVID-19 protocols. Players like Myles Garrett of the Cleveland Browns tweeted, “If the NFL doesn’t do their part to keep players healthy there is no football in 2020. It’s that simple. #WeWantToPlay.”
The NFLPA’s committee conducted a conference call on Wednesday with approximately 50 players with high profiles to let them know about how guidelines will be handled on training camps. However, players could notice that the NFLPA was not able to answer some of the simple questions they asked. So, it is clear that the NFL lacks organization and responsibility. This position puts the league, and the players’ safety, in danger. The sports industry needs to keep on going, but only if organizations can establish the proper protocols.