Russell Wilson and several other Seattle Seahawks players have a message for the NFL with training camp just days away. Wilson was part of a coordinated effort by many of the top NFL players to send a message to the league about the lack of a clear health and safety plan amidst COVID-19. Wilson’s tweet was one of the many from NFL players that was sent with the #WeWantToPlay.
“I am concerned. My wife is pregnant,” Wilson tweeted. “@NFL Training camp is about to start.. And there’s still No Clear Plan on Player Health & Family Safety. 🤷🏾 We want to play football but we also want to protect our loved ones. #WeWantToPlay.”
As Wilson noted, his wife Ciara is expecting a baby boy in the near future which adds to his concern about playing during a pandemic without proper procedures in place. With the multiple football workout videos we have seen this offseason, it is clear Wilson wants to play but is among the players that has voiced skepticism over the NFL’s COVID-19 protocols.
Seahawks pass rusher Bruce Irvin issued a similar statement on Twitter.
“I just want to play football but we need the @NFL to step up and create a safe work environment for us all! #WeWantToPlay,” Irvin noted.
NFL Players Have Pushed for the Cancelation of Preseason Games
The NFL Players Association has continued to push for the cancelation of the entire preseason. So far, the NFL only agreed to cancel two of each team’s preseason games. NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported that part of the recent social media push is an attempt to eliminate these exhibition contests as well as push the league to provide more clarity on COVID-19 testing procedures.
“Translating the #WeWantToPlay posts you’re seeing now: Joint medical committee recommended a 21-day acclimation period,” Pelissero explained on Twitter. “NFL asked players to show up 2 weeks early to accomodate it; NFLPA said no. NFL shortened acclimation period to accommodate 2 preseason games. Union wants 0. That’s on top of remaining questions over opt-out language, testing frequency, etc. Clubs are enforcing management rights by setting reporting dates; players must show up or face discipline. If there’s a grievance, it’d be over unsafe work environment, as players’ posts portend.”
The NFL Informed the Seahawks That Training Camp Will Start as Scheduled on July 28
The NFL informed all 32 teams over the weekend that training camp will start as scheduled. This means the majority of Seahawks players are scheduled to report on July 28, but rookies are slated to begin camp on July 21. Wilson and the other Seahawks quarterbacks along with injured players can report on July 23.
It is looking increasingly likely that teams will be playing in front of either zero or a limited number of fans. The NFL and NFLPA still has to iron out how they plan to deal with the projected loss of revenue.
“The NFL and NFLPA would like to have the all-important economics figured out before camp,” NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport tweeted. “But it’s not a necessity, so they can keep talking about the revenue shortfall while camp goes. They’ll resolve other money issues (risk stipends etc) sooner.”
It will be an interesting lead up to training camp with the majority of Seahawks veterans set to report on July 28. We will see if the two parties can find more of a middle ground before training camps begins.