Don’t get it misconstrued. NFL players want to play this season, but they demand it be done safely.
Now, they’re speaking out on Twitter about the NFL failing to develop a plan to play the 2020 NFL season safely, including Seattle Seahawks quarterback Rusell Wilson who cites his wife, Ciara, being pregnant on why he’s concerned.
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
Among the other players speaking out, Houston Texas defensive end JJ Watt had the most detail in his statement.
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
The concerns appear to be about the NFL failing to develop a plan to play the season safely despite having the benefit of time. The NBA, NHL, and MLS all had to suspend their campaigns midseason. The MLB, WNBA, and NWSL had to suspend the beginning of their seasons but all six ended up with plans to return to play safely with testing for the virus at the heart of each plan.
The NFL hasn’t even committed to daily or every-other-day testing yet but the NFL has reiterated that training camp will begin next week with rookies set to report to training camp on July 21, quarterbacks and injured players on July 23 and the rest of the roster by July 28.
[RELATED]: NFL moves forward with training camp, Seahawks set to start July 28
Meanwhile, Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reports that the NFL was recommended to have a 21-day acclimation period, which the league wanted players to report two weeks early to have. The NFLPA refused and stated they do not want to play preseason games during the pandemic.
Translating the #WeWantToPlay posts you’re seeing now: Joint medical committee recommended a 21-day acclimation period. NFL asked players to show up 2 weeks early to accomodate it; NFLPA said no. NFL shortened acclimation period to accommodate 2 preseason games. Union wants 0.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) July 19, 2020
Wilson and Watt were not alone in their concern.
It’s crazy to hear the NFL has yet to address major health and safety issues with training camp being 2 weeks away. We want to play football. Make it happen @NFL. Keep us safe! #WeWanttoPlay
— DK Metcalf (@dkm14) July 19, 2020
I am really nervous about putting myself at risk without any safety measures being set in place. I’ve had a family member (27) contract the virus and they didn’t think they were going to make it. This is serious. If we are going to play in a pandemic the @NFL must keep us safe.
— Tyler Lockett (@TDLockett12) July 19, 2020
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
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
I want to play ball this year! But we are going to need the @NFL to make sure they are listening to everyone and taking the steps for the players and their families to be safe! #WeWantToPlay
— Derek Carr (@derekcarrqb) July 19, 2020
Crazy to see how the NFL is not following the recommendations of its own experts regarding health and safety for Us as players! As of today questions have not been answered and we want to play football. Y’all want to watch football this year?#WeWantToPlay
— Jarvis Juice Landry (@God_Son80) July 19, 2020
You want to watch football this year? Us players need to remain healthy in order to make that happen. The @NFL needs to do their part in order to bring football back safely in 2020. #WeWantToPlay
— Todd Gurley II (@TG3II) July 19, 2020
It blows my mind that the NFL is unwilling to follow the recommendations of their own experts regarding player health and safety. If we want to have a FULL season this year we need the NFL to listen to their experts! #WeWantToPlay pic.twitter.com/q55RpqRzPu
— Malcolm Jenkins (@MalcolmJenkins) July 19, 2020
If #AdamSilver can respect the voices and protect his @NBA players why can’t @NFLcommish do the same? Listen to your players. If we want to have a full season it will have to look different with OUR safety as the priority. @NFL make the necessary changes. #WeWantToPlay
— DIGGS (@stefondiggs) July 19, 2020
Why isn’t the NFL listening to the recommendation from their own joint committee? If we want to have a full season it will have to look different. @NFL make the necessary changes. #WeWantToPlay
— Darius Slay (@bigplay24slay) July 19, 2020
[Listen to the latest Talkin’ Seahawks Podcast with host Joe Fann and special guest Gregg Bell].
Russell Wilson, NFL players call out NFL’s mishandling of COVID-19 originally appeared on NBC Sports Northwest