SANTA CLARA (CBS SF) — San Francisco star Richard Sherman and former 49ers standout DeForest Buckner took to social media Sunday, joining a growing wave of anger among players over the NFL’s reopening plans with the start of training camp just days away.
The angry outburst came as the players union and league wrestle over an agreement on health and safety guidelines with no clear resolution in sight.
“The NFL has ignored the safety recommendations from the experts that THEY hired,” Sherman posted on Twitter. “We all love this game and want to go out and compete with our brothers. The NFL needs to provide a safe work environment for us to do that.”
Buckner, who anchored the San Francisco 49ers defensive line before post-season trade to Indianapolis, echoed the sentiment.
“There won’t be an @NFL season if we don’t put players health and safety first. Who’s playing the games if we’re all sick? #WeWanttoPlay,” he posted.
It was an outcry that reverberated around the league with many of the game top stars joining in.
Former Stanford star Zach Ertz, who plays for the Philadelphia Eagles, tweeted out a list of the players demands. Among those demands were:
- “We still do not know how each team is going to keep us safe while at work. Approved IDER plans (infectious disease emergency response) have not been received by All 32 teams.”
- “We still do not know what the protections are for guys who want to opt out, in the middle of a pandemic, to protect themselves or a high-risk family member.”
- “We still need a fill acclaimation period for our training camps as recommended by the medical and training staffs.”
- “We still do not know how many preseason games we are going to play.”
“Playing football and feeling safe at work SHOULD NOT be mutually exclusive! Time is running down and we need answers,” Ertz tweeted.
Former Cal and current Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff asked for the fans support.
“You want to watch football this year? Us players need to remain healthy in order to make that happen. The NFL needs to do their part in order to bring football back safely in 2020,” he tweeted. “Please address health and safety concerns so we can play football this year. We want to play!”
Raiders quarterback Derek Carr tweeted similar sentiments.
— Derek Carr (@derekcarrqb) July 19, 2020
The game’s biggest stars also joined in.
We all want to play this season, but we need to stay safe in order to actually have a season! It’s time for the @NFL to step up and do their part so that us players can be safe at work and go play the game we love! #WeWantToPlay
— Carson Wentz (@cj_wentz) July 19, 2020
Once again in the interest of keeping everyone (players & fans) as informed as possible, here is an updated list of what we as players know and don’t know as the first group gets set to report to training camp tomorrow.#WeWantToPlay pic.twitter.com/xQcjs33zgM
— JJ Watt (@JJWatt) July 19, 2020
— Patrick Mahomes II (@PatrickMahomes) July 19, 2020
I am concerned.
My wife is pregnant.@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
— Russell Wilson (@DangeRussWilson) July 19, 2020
We need Football! We need sports! We need hope! The NFL’s unwillingness to follow the recommendations of their own medical experts will prevent that. If the NFL doesn’t do their part to keep players healthy there is no football in 2020. It’s that simple. Get it done @NFL
— Drew Brees (@drewbrees) July 19, 2020