NFL training camps are starting and with the resumption of team activities, the league's COVID policies and problems are again front and center. The NFL is doing its best to make life difficult for those who refuse to get vaccinated and some coaches have already buckled under the pressure, choosing to abandon their teams rather than get a shot that could save their life or keep the people around them safe from a virus that has killed more than four million people worldwide and more than 610,000 people in America alone.
Anyway, players might be the next to follow when it comes to NFL personnel choosing I over TEAM.
Via Peter King's Football Morning in America on PFT:
Agent Drew Rosenhaus: “I had a client who knew there was interest out there but didn’t want to be vaccinated. He was dead-set against it. But teams ask about free-agents’ vaccination status. You know they want these guys to be vaccinated. So my guy went out and got vaccinated, and he got signed. But I have players adamant they won’t get the vaccine. They just don’t want to be told what to do. I think there will be players who decide they don’t want to play because of this issue.”
This is an absolutely incredible thought process. You're telling me that a group of people, who have chosen one of the only professions where they are subject to curfews, don't want to be told what to do?
Entire NFL careers consist of coaches telling players what to do. Players are told to come live in dorm rooms, sequestered from their families, for training camps. They sign contracts and then get unceremoniously cut. They are told where and how often they will be playing.
Career lengths are around three years. Players famously accept shots of Toradol so that they can continue to play through pain. The NFL actually sent out a memo last month asking them not to do that because it's dangerous. The NFL would not explicitly and publicly be asking players to inject themselves with something they thought was harmful because that would be quite bad for business. They simply ask them to play football. Which is incredibly dangerous and yet football players continue to do it.
Not getting vaccinated seems to go against every rah-rah talking point in football culture. As Michael Irvin pointed it out, anyone unwilling to get vaccinated doesn't want to win enough. If things keep going the way they are right now, anyone unvaccinated won't have a chance. And that's their choice for once. Enjoy it.