Players blitz NFL with tweets about safe return

NFL players took to Twitter on Sunday in a coordinated exertion to urge the NFL to hear to its experts’ tips on securely opening schooling camps amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Quite a few of the players used the hashtag #WeWantToPlay to accompany their tweets.

NFL Players Affiliation president JC Tretter tweeted: “What you are seeing right now is our fellas standing up for each individual other and for the function their union management has accomplished to keep absolutely everyone as safe and sound as feasible. The NFL desires to hear to our union and undertake the experts’ recommendations #wewanttoplay”

The thought for the tweets came from Miami Dolphins cornerback Byron Jones, who suggested the thought on a person of the players’ inside organizing calls Sunday, a resource told ESPN’s Dan Graziano. Jones’ thought, the resource said, was to get the message out to the public that the players want to engage in but that they want the groups to make sure it is as safe and sound as feasible — that it was not about players just hunting out for their cash or not wanting to demonstrate up for camp.

The NFLPA told ESPN that players weren’t especially instructed to tweet, but that the union was “involved, to make sure [the tweets] were being [on] factual grounds” relating to negotiations. The NFLPA said that Tretter’s tweet would serve as its assertion.

Among the the players tweeting were being Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, who wrote that he was worried and pointed to his pregnant wife as a key rationale.

“I am worried. My wife is pregnant. @NFL Education camp is about to start out.. And you can find still No Distinct Program on Participant Wellness & Loved ones Security. We want to engage in football but we also want to shield our loved kinds. #WeWantToPlay”

The New Orleans Saints’ Michael Thomas urged NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to abide by the case in point of NBA commissioner Adam Silver to deliver football again securely.

“If Adam Silver can respect the voices and shield his NBA players why won’t be able to @nflcommish do the identical? Hear to your players,” Thomas tweeted.

The Cleveland Browns’ Myles Garrett was amongst players to say that there won’t be a season if the NFL isn’t going to “do their part to keep players healthful.”

“If the NFL isn’t going to do their part to keep players healthful there is no football in 2020. It is that uncomplicated. #WeWantToPlay,” he said.

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Dan Orlovsky loves the NFL stars calling out the league for lack of safety protocols ahead of schooling camp and states the NFL desires to be proactive as a substitute of reactive.

The Houston Texans’ J.J. Watt was the first participant to tweet his problems, doing so on Thursday. On Sunday, he tweeted an updated list of what players do and never know with players set to report to schooling camps this thirty day period.

On Wednesday, the NFLPA’s government committee held a meeting connect with with virtually fifty of its best-profile players meant to notify the membership on wherever things stood forward of schooling camp, a person participant on the connect with told ESPN’s Jeff Darlington. But that connect with took some turns as players felt the NFLPA couldn’t answer some of the most basic inquiries they were being asking.

Among the some others, Watt vocalized the want to get additional clarity on the NFL’s strategy for participant wellbeing and safety. As these types of, various players asked the NFLPA how they could support and what their message ought to be. Fundamentally, a person participant said, the connect with turned a galvanizing instant that has led to Sunday’s social media blitz. Since that connect with, players have been doing work with the NFLPA to function on techniques to generate a unified voice.

On Saturday, when the NFL despatched an email to each individual crew informing them that schooling camp would start out on time, a person member of the NFLPA government committee told ESPN they viewed the NFL’s action as a public relations try to quell fans’ problems owing to a developing sentiment from players — which include Watt and Patrick Mahomes — who have expressed frustrations about the lack of clarity from the league.

The NFLPA resource said this public again-and-forth is predicted to sooner or later guide to additional expansive conferences in between the league and the NFLPA in the coming days to get a improved comprehending about how the league designs to deal with factors these types of as practices, testing, opt-out clauses and other elements players feel have not been appropriately agreed on.

Among the the NFLPA’s requests to the NFL are daily testing, no preseason online games and a “ramp-up” period (21 days of strength and conditioning, ten days of non-padded practices and 14 days of “get hold of acclimation”) once they report to camp.

NFLPA government committee member Sam Acho said on ESPN Radio’s Sunday Early morning that the NFLPA acquired a counterproposal from the NFL on Saturday night time, but the league still hasn’t addressed most of the players’ problems and is entirely ignoring the suggestions of the medical professionals it employed to occur up with a strategy to securely start out the season.

“And so as of now we are telling players to get prepared and stay prepared, but if the NFL isn’t going to occur up with these designs, you are unable to demonstrate up,” he said.

In accordance to the collective bargaining agreement, players who do not report to schooling camp could be subject to fines, forfeiture of bonuses and salary and the reduction of an accrued season.

Acho said the NFL desires to give players a strategy on how online games might be canceled or delayed simply because of a coronavirus outbreak and also should address the monetary ramifications players might facial area. He also accused the NFL of waiting to use strain on the players as a substitute of coming up with a strategy.

“The proprietors, underneath the CBA or outdoors the CBA, their obligation is to give a safe and sound doing work ecosystem for the players. … So if they never do that, we won’t be able to engage in. It is as uncomplicated as that,” he said.

Rookies for the Texans and Kansas City Chiefs, the groups scheduled to engage in the Thursday night time standard-season opener on Sept. ten, have been told to report Monday. The comprehensive-squad reporting day for the large vas
t majority of groups is July 28.

The #WeWantToPlay blitz sets the phase for the NFLPA to file a grievance in excess of unsafe doing work conditions. What takes place with rookies on reporting will mostly determine that, but the union is ready to file, a resource told ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler — and that buys players time, ahead of veterans report a week later on, to try out to finalize phrases.

The NFLPA will carefully keep track of the handling of rookies, who are predicted to be tested a number of instances early on in the process. Both of those sides have produced some progress on phrases of the ramp-up period — conditioning leading into training — when owning a person or two preseason online games remains on the desk.