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NFL players rally on social media to spotlight league’s lack of COVID-19 planning

NFL players are speaking up as we head into training camp.

Philadelphia Eagles v New York Giants Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images

NFL training camps are set to kick off in the coming week, with the earliest players reporting to camp starting Monday morning when the Kansas City Chiefs and Houston Texans rookies will report. With less than 24 hours until the 2020 season gets rolling, the league has failed to so far institute recommended measures to protect players from COVID-19. Players do not have much information regarding testing and medical procedures for this season either.

J.J. Watt, the Texans defensive end who has become one of the faces of the league, laid out many of the players concerns on Twitter.

Watt mentions the lack of testing guidelines, the lack of an opt-out clause for players who are either high risk or have high-risk loved ones and the lack of a comprehensive procedure for teams to abide by when a player tests positive.

The defensive end used the hashtag “#WeWantToPlay”, which became a social media rallying cry for many players around the league. Several players took to Twitter to ask questions of the league and ask for answers to the players’ many questions ahead of training camp.

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson—another player that could be considered among the faces of the league—also voiced his concerns with the hashtag. Wilson’s wife, singer Ciara Wilson, is currently pregnant, making her a high risk.

Other high profile players that spoke up include former Detroit Lions cornerback Darius Slay, reigning Super Bowl MVP and 2018 league MVP Patrick Mahomes, All-Pro San Francisco 49ers corner Richard Sherman and all-time passing leader Drew Brees.

Lions rookies are set to report on Tuesday, and the entire roster is set to report by July 29. Last week the league advised teams to operate as if training camps will be scheduled as anticipated this season.

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