Patriots players raise questions, express skepticism about football in a pandemic

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Multiple players on the Patriots are expressing their doubts about how anyone can simultaneously play football and follow public health guidelines to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Patriots cornerback Jonathan Jones wrote on Twitter, “I don’t know who needs to hear this but you can’t social distance football.”

Teammate Dont'a Hightower replied to that with, “Ain’t no way.”

Teammate Patrick Chung added, “Not a damn shot. They are trippin.”

Patriots defensive backs Jason McCourty and Devin McCourty wrote at SI.com that players are in the dark about what the plans are.

“So many questions with virtually no answers,” they wrote. “As fear continues to grow for our nation, it is also being spoken about among us players. Will we have an option to opt out of the season? Will we be making our full salary? What if there is a COVID outbreak within the league? It’s so hard to make a decision of whether we will play or not without knowing what the exact plan is.”

With training camps set to open in less than two weeks, these questions need to be answered soon.

47 responses to “Patriots players raise questions, express skepticism about football in a pandemic

  1. The question has been answered. The answer is that it is irresponsible and unprofessional to proceed with training camps and the season as currently planned.

  2. Young, strong, athletes are some of the people least at risk to the virus. The science says this. The media has successfully scared the public into thinking the virus is a death sentence, when in reality the people dying are already compromised in some way or over the age of 70.

  3. Opt out with full salary?

    I am employed by the Commonweath of Pennsylvania and they wont even permit me to use 2.5 hours emergency sick leave that is mandated by the federal government in order that I may drive from my home to Harrisburg, PA. and back for a drive thru COVID test even though I have been symptomatic for a week.

  4. Breaking News: Patriots players aren’t excited to play without Tom Brady and a great chance at the Super Bowl and would like to take the season off.

    Guaranteed none of these NFL players speaking out about quarantine are practicing social distancing and wearing masks in their free time.

    When it comes to working your butt off all season long, jeez man this pandemic is serious.

  5. Well that’s it! The medical experts in Boston have spoken! Quite eloquently too. LOL!

  6. So its cool for cops and day care workers to go back to work and have to physically touch people, but football players can’t?

    Can we stop with the football players are modern day gladiators now?

  7. Reality is these players just want to get paid to do nothing. Covid is just giving them a very convenient excuse to take a paid year off.

  8. It’s simple. Players will be at risk of catching Covid. The NFL should take precautions to minimize the risk. Players who want to accept the risk should be allowed to play–those that don’t shouldn’t (no play no pay). It is also incumbent on players to take personal responsibility and not bring covid to the team. These are the risks that people in just about every profession face. Granted the risk in football may be higher than a lot of professions. Let football happen and stop the whining.

  9. If they really want to play they will find a way. Wear masks and face shields. They cover their faces in cold weather so there’s no reason they can’t do it full time. But lets face it, they don’t want to play but they’ll complain when they don’t get paid or get cut next year.

  10. mjb says:
    July 15, 2020 at 7:28 am
    So its cool for cops and day care workers to go back to work and have to physically touch people…

    No, it isn’t. That’s the point you’re missing.

  11. I would love to see football this fall, but only if its a level playing field… which I don’t think can happen! Example… if a player breaks his leg, blows out a knee, gets a concussion, the rest of the team or players that came in contact with that player aren’t at risk of the same injury. It is really very simple, the season should just be cancelled for this year. We live in strange times, the NFL needs to see this and act accordingly.

  12. Once the season is canceled, people will begin to understand that there is life after football.

  13. They know dang well what they are doing… but they aren’t releasing any details cus they don’t want the attack dog media and it’s rabid base to go insane when they tell you they are going on with the season and *GASP* – letting adults make the CHOICE to do as they please and “risk it” if they want.

  14. Fantasy team rosters will need to be expanded from 15-18 players to two or three times that amount. Unlimited waivers, team QB’s, anything and everything to be field a roster. Can you imagine Sunday mornings when half your team just tested positive? No schools, no problem. No bars, no problem, no work, eh. No FF? Arghhh…..

  15. notaloon says:
    July 15, 2020 at 7:38 am
    If they really want to play they will find a way. Wear masks and face shields. They cover their faces in cold weather so there’s no reason they can’t do it full time

    ===========

    Are they not going to tackle each other? Maybe they can all get in those inflatable hamster balls, that’ll solve the problem.

  16. “Young, strong, athletes are some of the people least at risk to the virus. The science says this. The media has successfully scared the public into thinking the virus is a death sentence…”

    Someone needs to research what “recovered” means.

  17. Play, do the best you can to lower the risk in ALL FORMS OF DAILY ACTIVITY & get paid as normal
    Opt out & get a flat league minimum for that year SACRIFICING any & all additional guaranteed money/performance bonuses if they CHOOSE that option
    Allow teams to carry up to the 90 person roster & do not allow teams to pillage players from each other’s roster for the year
    DO THAT OR CANCEL THE SEASON & ALL CURRENT PLAYERS GET THEIR GUARANTEED MONEY FOR 2020 & the others get to file for unemployment benefits

  18. Maybe there will be a season after all.
    Yesterday the Trump administration stripped the CDC of all control of COVID-19 data.
    States and hospitals will now be required to report directly to the White House.
    This just means that beginning very soon, we’ll be hearing about how the virus has now been completely contained and is no longer a threat – in an attempt to get you to go back to work, send your kids back to school, and try to get the economy back on track.
    Never mind that 22 states and two territories have set daily coronavirus records for new infections since July 1.
    This is all just a ploy in an election year, and it’s going to get a lot of people killed.

  19. These players are so all over the p[lace you wonder how thy call themselves professionals.

  20. LOL that’s a strange twist a fate, the Patriots being concerned things aren’t on the up-and up!

  21. Somehow Bill will trade Covid to Jacksonville for an underrated LB and draft picks and everything will work out.

  22. touchback6 says:
    July 15, 2020 at 8:38 am
    Not happening. Chiefs done. Cap to drop 80 mil.

    —————

    Must be hard to sleep at night always thinking about the chiefs.

  23. Young, strong, athletes are some of the people least at risk to the virus. The science says this. The media has successfully scared the public into thinking the virus is a death sentence, when in reality the people dying are already compromised in some way or over the age of 70.
    ———————
    And coaches? coaching staff? Trainers?
    And the reality isn’t what you say. There are less people in said demographics, but people are still dying. Virus doesn’t care about your workout routine, or what magic water you are drinking. Virus only cares if you are good breeding ground.

  24. collectordude says:
    July 15, 2020 at 7:22 am
    Simple.
    Dont play.
    Dont get paid.

    ==========

    That makes sense, but it’s governed by the language of the contracts (and maybe other stuff I’m not aware of). I’m also curious to what extent the teams are on the hook for salaries for games that aren’t played.

  25. I remember years ago when the league had replacement refs. The fans were livid and hated the product they were seeing on the field. I know fans want a distraction from how terrible things are but having football would only complicate things more and because of covid players will run around with clouded face shields and ruin the product on the field. Tom Brady refused to switch his helmet two years ago because of comfort imagine Brady trying to see 35 yards downfield through a nickel defense with a fogged up face shield that is uncomfortable. Football would be awful if it was to be played this year. By week 5 no one would watch those awful covid football games. Save your popcorn and beer for 2021 when teams will have 2 years of draft picks and everyone will be completely healthy.

  26. stipez says:
    July 15, 2020 at 8:43 am
    Someone needs to research what “recovered” means.

    ==========

    Exactly, people are surviving Covid-19 with serious lingering issues. We don’t know how long those issues may last or whether they may be career-ending for professional athletes.

  27. There is a way to have a season and get paid. Problem is the players or NFLPA won’t go for 100% quarantine. Soldiers on deployment for months use video calls to talk to loved ones back home and get paid substantially less than a NFL athlete.

  28. People will never understand that NFL players are nothing more than entertainers. To compare them to police, healthcare workers, or anyone else actually doing something positive during a pandemic is a disservice to all of those professions.

  29. “when in reality the people dying are already compromised in some way or over the age of 70.”

    Blatantly untrue. While there are many of that older generation dying, and by the way many are from our greatest generation who fought in WWII, so I guess you care nothing about veterans.

    But also many younger people are compromised with factors such as obesity, smoking, diabetes. There was an idiot in TX who died last weekend after going to a covid party a couple weeks previously because like you he thought it was nothing much to worry about.

    Hi last words to the nurse holding his hand as he died – “I think I made a mistake, I thought this was a hoax”

    And that doesn’t even begin to take into account the lifelong health issues some survivors have with lung problems, issues with brain damage as covid can cause strokes and other brain problems, and the fact that autopsys have shows blood clots in every organ caused by covid.

    Wise up

  30. I don’t blame the Pats players, not like they have much to look forward to next season anyway.

  31. In December the Patriots flew two team planes to Houston with nine players listed as questionable due to “illness” and one who was still too sick to fly at all. Teams get hit with bugs that go through the locker room every year, some worse than others — remember the MRSA outbreak of 2013 that had teams bleaching their facilities to stop the spread?

    COVID will be similar in spread, but with increasingly dire reporting and hype. Unlike the flu, players won’t be expected to pop in an IV and play through it.

  32. No one is forcing them to play. Problem is they want to not play but still be paid. Good luck with that.

  33. Over 100,000 Americans are dead due to COVID-19. Scientific facts point to means of minimizing the spread of the virus. Wear a mask, social distance, wash your hands frequently. The mask is more for the people around you than yourself. In essence, you are looking out for your fellow Americans…somehow this is too much to ask of some people. This is why America is the only country still showing a surge in cases. This is why we can’t have nice things. It’s sad that in a time when we should be galvanized as a nation…we have science vs politics keeping the country from recovering…

  34. Just delay until we have a vaccine. Don’t mess around with this deadly pandemic.

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