Some of the NFL’s star players aren’t exactly on board with the league’s new COVID-19 forfeit rules.
On Thursday, NFL Network shared a memo from the league telling teams that games cannot be rescheduled due to a COVID-19 outbreak among unvaccinated players, and that teams will be forced to forfeit games with playoff seeding — and paycheck — implications.
Some players were quick to voice their opinions on the matter.
“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,” Arizona Cardinals receiver DeAndre Hopkins wrote in a quickly deleted tweet.
Hopkins cited in another since-deleted post his girlfriend’s brother, who the wideout says got the vaccine and “had heart problems right after.”
Neither the league nor the NFL Players Association have mandated vaccines for players, instead agreeing to protocols that restrict the activities of players who have not received one.
A reported 78 percent of NFL players have received at least one COVID-19 vaccination shot, according to the league.
“We’re pleased with those numbers, but we’re not satisfied. We want to see them continue to go up,” NFL chief medical officer Dr. Allen Sills said on “NFL NOW” on Thursday. “Certainly those rates are well above what we’re seeing in the rest of society and certainly above the same age group as most of our players are. So a great head-start, more work to be done.”
Hopkins, however, was far from the only voice to oppose the league memo.
“Vaccine I can’t do it,” Buccaneers running back Leonard Fournette tweeted and then deleted.
“I know 2 people right now who got the vaccine but are covid positive,” Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey wrote on Twitter. “I’m just saying. I wouldn’t look at a teammate as bad if he don’t get the vax, no pressure from 5.”
Patriots linebacker Matthew Judon needed even fewer words to get his sentiment across in his post:
“The NFLPA f–king sucks.”