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High profile NFL players raising concerns on social media about NFL Covid-19 plan

NFL players are not pleased with what the owners are proposing during the pandemic.

Quarterback Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks poses with quarterback Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs after the game at CenturyLink Field on December 23, 2018 in Seattle, Washington. Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

The NFL sent a memo to teams this weekend announcing start dates for 2020 training camp. The Kansas City Chiefs and Houston Texans have quarterbacks and rookies scheduled to report on Monday, while the rest of the league can start having players report on Tuesday.

This is happening even as the owners and players have not finalized health and safety protocols for practicing and playing amidst the Covid-19 pandemic. The collective bargaining agreement allows for the owners to impose a reporting deadline, but it leaves open a host of other topics. For the time being, that includes testing protocols, quarantine requirements for positive tests or players exposed, and opt-out language for high risk players and those with high risk family members. Additionally, no team has submitted an infectious disease emergency response plan that is required.

Players have been pushing back on the owners’ lack of movement, but on Sunday, we saw a high profile coordinated push. High profile players like J.J. Watt, Drew Brees, and Russell Wilson were among a group of players tweeting their concerns with the hashtag #WeWantToPlay.

The owners can impost a report date, but if players feel the situation is unsafe — particularly if there is a violation of the March deal — they can file a grievance. These tweets indicate players would take that as a serious option.