Players across the league blitzed the NFL in a coordinated thunderclap using the hashtag #wewanttoplay to bring light to their concerns about the lack of satisfactory health and safety protocols in place to account for COVID-19. The league sent a memo on Saturday outlining the schedule for training camp will start on-time with rookies set to report on July 21st. The Houston Texans and Kansas City Chiefs rookies are set to report on Monday, July 20th.
NFL players took to Twitter on Sunday morning to urge the NFL to listen to its experts’ guidelines on safely opening training camps. Among the NFLPA’s requests to the NFL are daily testing, no preseason games and a “ramp-up” period (21 days of strength and conditioning, 10 days of non-padded practices and 14 days of “contact acclimation”) once they report to camp.
Below are a few highlights from the blitz:
According to ESPN, the idea for the tweets came from Miami Dolphins cornerback Byron Jones, who suggested the idea on one of the players’ internal planning calls Sunday. Jones’ idea was to get the message out to the public that the players want to play but that they want the teams to make sure it’s as safe as possible — that it wasn’t about players just looking out for their money or not wanting to show up for camp.
This may be the first time we’ve seen such a coordinated effort from players. Especially on social media. This issue is far from resolved. We will see how it unfolds with camp expected to begin for all players on July 28th.