New protocols for vaccinations have been released by The National Football League, and some players responded with shock and anger.
Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins deleted a tweet Thursday afternoon shortly after posting it that said he would “question” his future in the NFL if it meant not getting the COVID-19 vaccine could potentially hurt his team’s chances in 2021.
He said in a tweet that was later deleted, “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.”
He later tweeted, however, that he has “9 more years left in me.”
Btw I got about 9 more years in me, y’all have a good day 😎
— Deandre Hopkins (@DeAndreHopkins) July 22, 2021
Hopkins’ tweet came in the wake of an NFL memo that described ramifications for teams that had COVID outbreaks during the 2021 season that decimate position groups or entire rosters. The NFL said a forfeit will be declared for a postponed game that can’t be rescheduled within the 18-game framework of the season and is caused by an outbreak among unvaccinated players of one team. In addition, if a forfeit occurs, players on both teams would lose their game checks.
The new rule places much greater pressure on players to get vaccinated to avoid being blamed for a possible loss for their team. Some players were not happy about it.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Leonard Fournette said, “Vaccine I can’t do it…….”
New England Patriots linebacker Matthew Judon appeared to blame the players union for the new rule.
“The NFLPA F****ing sucks,” he tweeted.
Hopkins was one of the biggest names to publicly respond to the NFL’s new policy, but others have chimed in.
Los Angeles Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey responded to well-known quarterbacks coach Quincy Avery, who tweeted, “Def a bad teammate if you don’t get the vax now…” by tweeting that he knew two vaccinated people who have tested positive for COVID and that he “wouldn’t look at a teammate as bad if he doesn’t get the vax, no pressure 5.”
I know 2 people right now who got the vaccine but are covid positive.. 🤷🏾♂️ I’m just saying. I wouldn’t look at a teammate as bad if he don’t get the vax, no pressure from 5️⃣ https://t.co/OGTbKJ1A6Z
— Jalen Ramsey (@jalenramsey) July 22, 2021
“I know 2 people right now who got the vaccine but are covid positive,” tweeted Ramsey. “I’m just saying. I wouldn’t look at a teammate as bad if he doesn’t get the vax.”
Others, like defensive end Jerry Hughes of the Buffalo Bills criticized players who refused to be vaccinated.
“So the top scientists in the entire world got together to figure out how to combat Covid-19. And when they came up with a vaccine, you question them. They are trying to save lives and you have doubt,” Hughes tweeted.
During the 2020-21 NFL season, numerous games were postponed over the coronavirus outbreaks and possible exposures, leading to confusing rescheduling to keep the season on track.
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