Top Players to NFL: Uh, Hello? Virus Plan?

Drew Brees and Russell Wilson are among those engaging in a social-media blitz
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 19, 2020 4:10 PM CDT
Top Players Plead to NFL: Where's the Virus Plan?
In this May 22, 2019, file photo, NFL vice president Troy Vincent speaks to the media during an owners meetings in Key Biscayne, Fla.   (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson, File)

NFL players are publicly pleading with the league to address several health and safety concerns on the eve of training camp, the AP reports. The league informed teams on Saturday that training camps will open on time even though discussions with the players' union regarding testing for the coronavirus and other health and safety protocols are ongoing. Rookies are set to report Monday and Tuesday, and players for all teams are scheduled to report by July 28. Many prominent players expressed their thoughts in a social media blitz Sunday. "We need Football! We need sports! We need hope!" Saints quarterback Drew Brees wrote on Twitter. "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," Brees added. Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson said he is concerned because his wife, Ciara, is pregnant: "My wife is pregnant. @NFL Training camp is about to start," he wrote. "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." NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith and President JC Tretter addressed the union's concerns in a 90-minute videoconference call with reporters on Friday. They want players tested daily for the virus. Other outstanding issues include number of preseason games. The league has planned to cut the exhibition schedule from four games to two while the union wants none.

(More football stories.)

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