WeWantToPlay Twitter tag has players questioning COVID-19 protocols

The NFL plans to open training camp this week even though it’s still negotiating the economics and on-field logistics of playing the 2020 season during the COVID-19 pandemic, but dozens of its players, including big names like Drew Brees and Russell Wilson, aren’t happy with those plans. A tidal wave of player voices hit social media on Sunday, with countless messages demanding the league listen to its players, as well as its medical experts, in preparation for the 2020 season.

“We need football! We need sports! We need hope!” Brees tweeted. “The NFL‘s unwillingness to follow the recommendations of their own medical experts will prevent that. If the NFL doesn’t do their part to keep players healthy, there is no football in 2020. It’s that simple. Get it done, NFL.”

Wilson echoed Brees’ words, suggesting the league has yet to finalize safe protocols for returning to work: “I am concerned,” he wrote. “My wife is pregnant. Training camp is about to start.. And there’s still no clear plan on player health and family safety. We want to play football, but we also want to protect our loved ones.”

Countless others chimed in with similar messages on Sunday, as the NFL and NFL Players Association continue to go back and forth regarding proposals for the 2020 season — namely the amount of time players will be given to prepare for the season, how they’ll be tested for COVID-19 while they do so, and how many — if any — preseason games will be played this fall. Among those who lent their voice to the #WeWantToPlay social media blitz were Patrick Mahomes, J.J. Watt, Zach Ertz, Todd Gurley, Myles Garrett, Jarvis Landry, Stefon Diggs, Carson Wentz, Michael Thomas, Richard Sherman and Derek Carr.

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July 19, 2020 at 12:21PM