On Friday afternoon, Deion Sanders uncorked one of the worst takes of 2020 so far. And boy, is that saying something.
Sanders took to Twitter to rip NFL players (and any athletes) who are opting out of the 2020 season. Yes, he actually took a shot at players who made the devastating choice to sit out. Those same players have decided to surrender huge paychecks in order to protect themselves and their families from potential exposure to a virus that has killed more than 160,000 Americans.
Here's the tweet:
Not only is that an awful take, it doesn't make sense. So if the players opt out they can easily be replaced, but officials are indispensable. Because there are no other officials at other levels of sports who could possibly replace them I guess? I have no idea what he's going for.
Thursday was the deadline for NFL players to opt out of the 2020 season, so I feel like this is mainly aimed at them. It feels like Sanders thinks players are sitting out to make a statement against the NFL (or any league) or something. It's almost as if he's taking it personally.
Specifically in the NFL, many athletes stepping away are doing so because they fear getting a deadly virus. That has nothing to do with taking a shot at the league itself. Many of those guys have families and don't want to risk being exposed to COVID-19 and then spreading it to those closest to them. It's a perfectly legitimate concern and if those men are willing to forgo their salaries for a year, they should be encouraged to do so.
Yes, the NFL will continue without the 69 players who have opted out, but Sanders seems to think if the entire league somehow opted out the NFL would be fine. I think we all know from past experience that a league full of replacement players would be a disaster. Sorry Deion, but the players matter.
Sanders has never been the sharpest knife in the block, but this was a new level of stupidity. Players opting out of sports this year should be supported. They're making a difficult decision and giving up a lot of money in the process.