The NFL and the NFL Players Association recently agreed to terms for beginning the 2020-21 season amidst the ongoing pandemic. However, players worried about their health voiced their concerns about the lack of strict measures from the NFL for player safety.
“I don’t want to contract COVID-19 and die,” said Browns star Odell Beckham Jr.
This extraordinarily bold and controversial statement was met with outrage from the sports media community. Stephen A. Smith, commentator for ESPN’s First Take, expressed his disappointment on Monday’s show.
“You’re wrong and here’s why,” Smith said. “You have no right to complain — you make millions of dollars! You lost your right to care about your health when you signed that contract. This brother is being blasphemous.”
Monday’s segment of First Take had more shocking moments — for the first time since the show began airing, Max Kellerman, Smith’s co-host, actually agreed.
“First, they want to bring in all these new concussion protocols,” Kellerman said. “Now, they don’t want to contract coronavirus? Their demands are becoming unreasonable.”
Kellerman added that he was surprised that players were suddenly so concerned with their safety.
“Do they know what sport they play?” he asked.
Other players, including the Seattle Seahawks’ Russell Wilson, voiced their support for Beckham.
“We want to play, but we want to know we’re playing safely,” Wilson said.
TV personality Skip Bayless was not impressed by Wilson, calling him “spoiled” and “a brat.”
“He wants to have his cake and eat it too,” Bayless said. “It’s outrageous that these players think they’re entitled to have opinions on their health — they need to stick to playing football. I don’t see anyone else complaining about their job.”
The NFL was quick to assure players that its guidelines will ensure a low risk of spread if a player contracts the virus. Commissioner Roger Goodell recently announced one of these protocols: After an hour of close violent contact and sweat exchange, players will not be allowed to partake in post-game jersey swaps.
“We take CDC guidelines very seriously,” Goodell said. “We encourage all teams to look to the Cleveland Browns as experts on social distancing. Last year, their pass rush ranked first in the league in avoiding contact with opposing quarterbacks.”
Editor’s Note: This article is purely satirical and fictitious. All attributions in this article are not genuine and this story should be read in the context of pure entertainment only.
Contact Viraj Mehta at viraj28m ‘at’ gmail.com.