NFL players launched a coordinated Twitter blitz Sunday calling for the league to address their health and safety concerns before the start of training camp.
At around noon ET, star players including Drew Brees, J.J. Watt, Patrick Mahomes and Russell Wilson all posted similar messages with the hashtag #WeWantToPlay.
“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,” NFL Players Association president J.C. Tretter posted on Twitter. “The NFL needs to listen to our union and adopt the experts’ recommendations.”
In a memo sent to teams on Saturday, the league said camps will open as scheduled. Rookies are to report on Tuesday, quarterbacks and injured players are to report two days later and all other players are to report on July 28.
Rookies for the Kansas City Chiefs and Houston Texans are scheduled to report on Monday, as those clubs kick off the NFL season on Sept. 10, ahead of all other teams.
Responding Sunday, players listed several concerns and questions they want to see addressed before potentially jeopardizing their health during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
“We still have not been granted the full and proper training camp acclimation period necessary as recommended by the medical and training staffs,” wrote Watt, the All-Pro defensive end for the Texans.
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
Other unresolved issues include testing frequency, an opt-out clause for players (or family members) who are at a higher risk, and the threat of fines for players who do not show up on time.
“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,” the Seattle Seahawks’ Wilson posted. “We want to play football but we also want to protect our loved ones.”
–Field Level Media (@FieldLevelMedia)