Tua Tagovailoa‘s virtual Pro Day workouts has generated plenty of buzz. But most in the media have overlooked one undeniable fact regarding the session, which occurred at the D1 Training facility, reportedly in Nashville: It violated the current Tennessee “stay at home” order.
Executive Order 22, as amended by Executive Order 23, make the situation as clear as it can be. D1 Training should have been closed. Neither Tua nor anyone else should have been there. It’s that simple, and it’s that clear. (It’s also clear from the video at the six-feet distancing requirement wasn’t being followed.)
These orders were put in place to limit the spread of the coronavirus. No matter how important it is to Tua to ensure that his draft stock doesn’t plummet amid rumors surely aimed at sparking a slide (right into the laps of one of the teams spreading the rumors, undoubtedly), there was nothing “essential” about his workout.
As to the various “stay at home” orders that currently are in place in most American states and communities, there is no NFL exception or pro athlete exception or “this stuff doesn’t apply to me” exception. The rules apply to everyone, and Tua and those who facilitated the workout are behaving as if they’re above the rules — sending a very bad message to anyone who is looking for any excuse possible to justify ignoring the rules.
So what Tua did is no different than what Dak Prescott and Dez Bryant have done. Indeed, it was a source attempting to defend Dak and Dez with a #whataboutism-style argument who put the dynamics of the Tua workout on our radar screen.
The fact that someone connected to Dak and Dez would point to someone else violating stay at home orders proves the point. With prominent athletes shrugging at these rules, others (including other prominent athletes) can point to those prominent athletes when justifying their own non-compliance with important restrictions aimed at saving lives.
And it would be nice if others in the media realized these obvious problems, too. Instead, they’re tweeting the video and basically saying nothing more than, “Cool throw, dude.”