The NFL hasn’t been nearly as transparent as its players would like and now they’re collectively speaking out.
Around noon on Sunday, as part of a coordinated social media barrage, a massive group of high-profile NFL players, including former Kentucky Wildcat Randall Cobb, sent tweets calling out the league and commissioner Roger Goodell. The tweets mostly highlight how the players have little information regarding health and safety concerns for the upcoming season, which is set to begin training camps in the coming days. All players are expected to report by July 28.
The @NFL has disregarded the recommendations of their OWN health & safety committees. We have continued asking questions and have YET to receive any definitive answers. #WeWantToPlay but we also want to keep our families safe.
— Randall Cobb (@rcobb18) July 19, 2020
Nearly two weeks ago, the NFL announced a plan that would draw back 35 percent of player’s salaries for the upcoming season, to which the NFLPA clearly did not take too kindly to. Now, players are against playing in preseason games as the NFL shortened its 21-day acclimation period to make room for those games. Unlike the NBA and MLS, the NFL does not plan on incorporating a “bubble” concept.
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
JJ Watt tweeted out an in-depth list of what he is expecting from the league.
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
From Pro Bowlers to role players and quarterbacks to defensive ends, athletes from all across the NFL spoke out. This hasn’t been just a few big names, this has been a joint effort that runs from the top to the bottom.
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
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
We need Football! We need sports! We need hope! 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
— Drew Brees (@drewbrees) July 19, 2020
We all want to play this season, but we need to stay safe in order to actually have a season! It’s time for the @NFL to step up and do their part so that us players can be safe at work and go play the game we love! #WeWantToPlay
— Carson Wentz (@cj_wentz) July 19, 2020
— Patrick Mahomes II (@PatrickMahomes) July 19, 2020
Being a champion made me realize how important team is & also how important our families are to our team success. It’s a family game. #WeWantToPlay so let’s find a way to protect us players & our families.
— Tyrann Mathieu (@Mathieu_Era) 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
When this many of the league’s big names speak out, it’s going to draw a quick reaction from the league to address it. Football might still be a bit further away than we’d like.