More than anything, these players want to play but they want to feel safe too.
NFL notables Todd Gurley, J.J. Watt, Myles Garrett, Zach Ertz, Stefon Diggs, Byron Jones, and Eric Kendricks were among the professional league athletes to share the “#WeWantToPlay” hashtag on Twitter.
With players reporting to camp on July 28th, the NFL still hasn’t come to a full agreement on what’s to come in September.
While players sit and wait on the verdict, they’re voicing their concerns:
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‘We Want to Play’ Gatorade Campaign
After four months without most sports, things are still looking questionable but Gatorade has spoken up for all of us in their new ‘Ready to Play’ campaign featuring notable athletes across professional leagues such as; Philadelphia Phillies heavy hitter Bryce Harper, New Orleans Pelicans Zion Williamson, Washington Mystics star Elena Delle Donne, Olympic hurdler Sydney McLaughlin and Atlanta Falcons running back Todd Gurley.
The commercial starts with Harper saying, “Time to play some baseball” and the other athletes agree to take a wack at the sport, well any sport fo that matter. In the ad, Gurley even considers taking up lacrosse or fencing.
Although there’s still a lot of uncertainties on whats ahead, Harper and many other players want to spread hope with the hashtag ‘#ReadyToPlay’ to let their fans know they’re ready and that sports will come back.
“Baseball players, from pros to Little Leaguers, have missed the game,” Harper told Bleacher Report. “This is a new reality we’re living in, but we’re all ready to get back out and play again. Gatorade knows this better than anyone, and is having some fun celebrating sports by showing that athletes are willing to play just about anything at this point to get back at it.”
Protocols Put in Place
In an NFL memo that commissioner Rodger Goodell sent out, there will be certain protocols to follow on a state by state basis. Players and staff will be testest.
“Coaches and other football staff, particularly those who may be in a higher risk category or who have concerns about their own health conditions are expected to speak with the club medical staff or personal physician about any special precautions or other accommodations that may be appropriate for their particular circumstances. In addition, we will work with club medical staffs to implement a program of COVID-19 testing for the coaching staff and other football personnel prior to players returning to club facilities.”
In Flowery Branch, the Falcons will only have one entrance for workers to enter and exit. All social-distancing rules must be followed and employees must wear masks unless they are in an enclosed office. Employees will also have their temperature checked prior to entering.
Falcons Will Limit Fans in Stands
Some NFL teams have already taken major steps. The Eagles will not allow fans in the stands right now. As for the Atlanta Falcons, they are planning on limiting the number of fans allowed.
The size of the crowds at Mercedes-Benz Stadium this year will be based on guidance from local authorities.
“As we have been preparing for the opportunity to play in front of fans, the NFL and government regulations are requiring changes in game-day operations. Some expected changes include, but are not limited to limited capacity seating, mandatory face coverings, the absence of pre-game and halftime activities and other measures to ensure the health and safety of our players, coaches, staff and you, our fans,” Steve Cannon, CEO of AMB Sports and Entertainment said in the statement.
Reportedly by next Wednesday, Falcons fans and ticket holders will be informed of more details for game day.