NFL players are firing back after the league issued a memo Thursday informing all 32 clubs that COVID outbreaks among unvaccinated players could result in the forfeiture of games and loss of play.
Arizona Cardinals veteran wideout DeAndre Hopkins tweeted shortly after news broke that the new policy makes him “question my future in the NFL.”
NFL SAYS COVID OUTBREAKS AMONG UNVACCINATED LAYERS MAY RESULT IN FORFEITURE OF GAMES, LOSS OF PAY UNDER NEW POLICY
“Never thought I would say this, but being put in a position to hurt my team because I don’t want to partake in the vaccine is making me question my future in the NFL.”
Hopkins deleted the tweet a short time later but sent another tweet that read “Freedom?”
The new policy is being interpreted as essentially mandating the vaccine without actually doing so.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said in the memo that the league does not intend to add another week to accommodate games that need to be rescheduled because of COVID outbreaks. It further stated that outbreaks among unvaccinated players could result in forfeiture and loss of pay for both teams if the games are canceled.
Los Angeles Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey also took to Twitter to say that the NFL is “pressuring/ influencing” players to get vaccinated under the new policies.
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“Some of y’all clearly didn’t get what I’m saying here lol,” Ramsey said of an earlier tweet he posted saying that he knows two people who tested positive for COVID despite being vaccinated.
“The NFL is pressuring/ ‘influencing’ guys to get the vaccine. They are saying if there is an outbreak, the team will be penalized heavily. My point is no teammate of mine will feel that pressure from me because whether you are vaccinated or not, there is still a chance of getting covid.”
“Just because my teammate(s) personally decide not to get the vaccine, I won’t think they are a bad teammate,” he added. “That’s all. It’s all love.”
Hopkins replied to Ramsey’s messages saying his girlfriend’s brother, who is in the military, suffered from heart problems shortly after getting the vaccine.
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“When you stand for something they hate you!”
Seattle Seahawks DJ Reed expressed his hesitancy in getting the vaccine, saying he only got it because he doesn’t want to “hinder” his team.
The latest figures reported by the NFL Network show that more than 78% of players have received at least one dose of the vaccine while 14 teams have 85% of players vaccinated.