NFL players rallied together on Twitter on Sunday, questioning the league’s safety protocols and preparation for training camp.
The social media outpouring using the hashtag “WeWantToPlay” could be seen as a response to the NFL’s memo sent out on Saturday saying rookies would begin reporting to training camps in just a few days: July 21. Quarterbacks and injured players would follow closely behind on July 23, with all other players reporting July 28.
Some of the NFL’s biggest stars’ most common complaint was that it didn’t seem as if the league had a clear plan for how to keep players safe.
I am concerned.
My wife is pregnant.@NFL Training camp is about to start..
And there’s still No Clear Plan on Player Health & Family Safety. 🤷🏾
We want to play football but we also want to protect our loved ones. #WeWantToPlay
— Russell Wilson (@DangeRussWilson) July 19, 2020
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Tom Pelissero reported that all NFL teams have filed safety plans with the league, and those plans have been approved by the league’s chief medical officer.
All 32 teams have submitted infectious disease emergency response plans, which have been approved by NFL chief medical officer Dr. Allen Sills as well as joint infectious disease experts, per source. Union also must approve before teams can have more than 20 players in building.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) July 19, 2020
The concern now is that these plans don’t answer enough questions, like how the league will react if a player tests positive, or if a player decides to opt out of the season.
JJ Watt succinctly summarized players’ concerns in a note:
Once again in the interest of keeping everyone (players & fans) as informed as possible, here is an updated list of what we as players know and don’t know as the first group gets set to report to training camp tomorrow.#WeWantToPlay pic.twitter.com/xQcjs33zgM
— JJ Watt (@JJWatt) July 19, 2020
While Aaron Donald and Richard Sherman were more pointed in their criticism of the NFL:
It’s a shame that the @nfl doesn’t care about doing their part to keep players healthy and safe. They need to make sure football can come back the right way. We have to look out for ourselves as well as our families. #WeWantToPlay
— AD_99 (@AaronDonald97) July 19, 2020
The NFL has ignored the safety recommendations from the experts that THEY hired. We all love this game and want to go out and compete with our brothers. The NFL needs to provide a safe work environment for us to do that. #WeWantToPlay
— Richard Sherman (@RSherman_25) July 19, 2020
Meanwhile, DeAndre Hopkins called on fans to join their voices with the players.
And JC Tretter, Browns center and NFLPA president, summarized the messaging coming from all the players:
What you are seeing today is our guys standing up for each other and for the work their union leadership has done to keep everyone as safe as possible. The NFL needs to listen to our union and adopt the experts’ recommendations #wewanttoplay
— JC Tretter (@JCTretter) July 19, 2020
As of publication it didn’t appear as if any Bears besides Khalil Mack got in on the conversation, although Allen Robinson did retweet some other players.
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NFL stars raise concerns on Twitter over training camp COVID-19 plan originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago