NFL Players Send a Unified Message to League Owners About Their Desire To Play

Brian McCarthy, NFL Vice President of Communications, has told all teams the 2020 season will proceed as planned. However, the NFLPA has not signed off on any return-to-work plans and players are not happy.

While the league made its official position known to ownership and clubs, mysteriously absent is the NFLPA agreement. Why? Players have no certainties and the league is ignoring the advice of the experts it hired to advise them.

#We Want To Play

Many player representatives for their respected teams are sounding off on the league ramrodding the start of the season through. We have heard from cornerback Richard Sherman, defensive end J.J. Watt, and many others earlier in the week. Players have taken their fight to social media on Sunday in order to let the league know their concerns.

Related Article: NFL’s 2020 Season Covid-19 Tracker: The Clock is Ticking

Player Safety Comes First

Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network has been keeping the NFL landscape informed on where we are in terms of an agreement. As it stands, the league has enforced their management rights and is calling for players to report. If the players do not report, the NFL will impose disciplinary actions.

In addition to the issues above, there are still discrepancies over testing frequencies and opt-out language. The players’ remaining option is to file a grievance under unsafe working conditions. Players are anxious to get back to business as usual, and want to be on the field. However, they are acutely aware they aren’t being properly cared for.

Some fans will understand the plight of the players, while others simply will not care. Players are people first, and they go home to families just the same as non-athletes. Football isn’t an essential industry no matter how much we want to watch it. Covid-19 is a highly contagious and infectious virus, requiring a plan of action.

Players aren’t willing to risk the health and lives of their families for a game. While fans have little compassion for millionaires, it’s hard not to empathize with a man who is looking out for his family’s health.

Las Vegas Raiders team captain Rodney Hudson weighs in on the league attempting to quick start the 2020 season. Hudson echoes the sentiments of teammate Erik Harris, and says he will not place his family in danger over football. While the two want nothing more than to play, everyone has the right to work in as safe a manner as possible.

NFL: No Covid-19 Politics in Football

The country has been divided over a bizarre politicized war about wearing masks since the beginning of the pandemic. Depending on which side of the political spectrum you fall on, acknowledging Covid-19 as more than a simple flu is a battle. Moreover, battle lines are being drawn between the league and the NFLPA.

Let’s face it, the league blew a 28-3 lead in terms of preparation time. Now, NFL owners are faced with the prospect of losing money for the first time in ages. Moreover, they are responding as businessmen. Entering “protect the bottom line at all costs” mode. Ignoring the fact players are more than just a means to an end. As an employer, the NFL has a duty to produce a safe place for players to play. 

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Top Photo: Eric Risberg/Associated Press

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