Russell Wilson is known for putting in work in the offseason and typically hosts his Seattle Seahawks teammates in Southern California before training camp starts. Wilson posted a video of himself practicing with DK Metcalf at an undisclosed location and the NFL Players Association is not happy.
Wilson carried out his workout plans despite the NFLPA issuing a statement strongly advising players to cease individual workouts as COVID-19 continues to spike in many states across the country. The NFLPA statement came after several players tested positive for the coronavirus. NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith was asked about Wilson and others players including Tom Brady continuing to host workouts with teammates.
“Those practices are not in the best interest of player safety,” Smith told USA Today. “They’re not in the best interest of protecting our players heading into training camp. And I don’t think they are in the best interest of us getting through an entire season. I certainly understand how competitive our players are and I get that.”
Smith admitted there is a business aspect to the workouts as well as the NFLPA tries to protect players for the upcoming season. The NFLPA is negotiating with the league about the COVID-19 protocols.
“But at the same time, we are in the process of trying to negotiate,” Smith continued. “We have to negotiate with the league about what happens to a player if they test positive during the season. Does that player go on injured reserve? Do they go on short-term IR? If you test positive for the virus after training camp, is that a work-related injury?”
Wilson & Brady Have Likely Heard From the NFLPA About Their Recent Workouts
Smith implied that players who have been posting videos of their workouts have been contacted by the NFL. It is unclear if Wilson has continued working out with teammates.
“…All of the things that players may want to do during the offseason have a direct impact on how well we can negotiate protections for them once the season starts,” Smith added. “We sent out the guidance because we think that was in their best health and safety interests. Let’s just say that for some of the players who have practiced, we’ve made sure they have heard the message.”
Brady seems to have heard some of the criticism from around the country, but the new Buccaneers quarterback had a subtle message for those against the workouts. Brady added a quote on Instagram from former president Franklin D. Roosevelt.
“Only thing we have to fear, is fear itself,” Brady posted the quote.
Wilson Hosted His Seahawks Teammates at His San Diego Home in 2019
— USA TODAY Sports (@usatodaysports) June 28, 2020
Wilson’s annual workouts have often occurred in the Los Angeles area but last offseason they had a change of location as the Seahawks quarterback invited some of his teammates to his San Diego home. Wilson has not publicized whether he invited a group of Seahawks to his California home this offseason given the pandemic. The quarterback told ESPN that the workouts are as much about building relationships as it is improving on the football field.
“I would say the one thing that I don’t think, for me, that I’ve had enough time to do in my world or haven’t really focused on as much is this kind of relationship part of it,” Wilson said. “So this is my challenge to myself, too, as well, to continue to learn you guys on a personal level, your worlds and everything else.”
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