Newly-elected NFLPA President J.C. Tretter of the Cleveland Browns has not been one to remain quiet since taking over that role during the spring.
With the 2020 NFL season slated to get going in less than three months, Tretter is now using his platform to question the legitimacy of starting said season amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
NFLPA President raises concern over season starting amid pandemic
“We are not invincible, and as recent reports have shown, we certainly aren’t immune to this virus. Underlying conditions like high BMI, asthma and sleep apnea are all associated with a higher risk of developing severe symptoms and complications when infected with COVID-19,” Tretter wrote, via the union’s official website. “Those conditions are widespread across the league. NFL players are humans — some with immuno-compromised family members or live-in elderly parents. Trust me: we want to play football. But as a union, our most important job is keep our players safe and alive. The NFLPA will fight for our most at-risk players and their families.”
This is one of the biggest concerns. It’s not simply about the players. It’s about their families. A number of said players are living with those who have preexisting conditions. Some of these players also have preexisting conditions themselves.
But for Tretter, it’s about a lot more than that.
“It is the responsibility of the employer to provide a safe work environment. I encourage all workers to hold their employers accountable to high standards,” Tretter continued. “More so than any other sport, the game of football is the perfect storm for virus transmission. There are protections, both short and long term, that must be agreed upon before we can safely return to work. The NFLPA will be diligent as we demand that the NFL provide us the safest workplace possible.”
This seems to suggest that the union is not anywhere near sold on the 2020 regular season starting on Sept. 10. Training camps themselves are slated to begin in less than a month.
Can the NFL reasonably expect the 2020 season to go on without a hitch?
Recent reports conclude that there’s some around the NFL world who don’t believe the season will finish.
The concern during the spring was that a second wave of the virus would impact winter sports. Now that the United States remains in the first wave, this is an even larger issue.
The NFLPA President raising more questions than answers adds an entirely new layer to this.