Dolphins’ Byron Jones sparked NFL players’ efforts to voice concern over COVID-19
Players throughout the NFL took to Twitter to express their concerns with preparing for the 2020 season without the league establishing viable, safety protocols amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. It appears Miami Dolphins cornerback Byron Jones served as the mastermind behind the recent “We Want To Play” hashtag that has circulated on social media.
According to ESPN’s Dan Graziano, Byron Jones was the one that initially came up with the motto:
A note on this afternoon’s NFL player tweetstorm: The idea came from Dolphins CB Byron Jones, who suggested it on a player reps’ call as a way of getting out the message that players aren’t just trying to get out of camp. “We want to play, let’s just make it safe.”
The fact that Byron Jones has taken on a leadership role during this time hardly comes as any surprise. Prior to his departure from the Dallas Cowboys in free agency, he had served as the team’s player representative and it is clear that he is keeping his efforts going despite the change-of-scenery this offseason.
Although rookies are scheduled to arrive for training camp starting July 21, they have not been given any information on potential health guidelines to follow. It is evident that the NFL has failed to make reducing the risks involved a priority for players such as Byron Jones up to this point. It could lead to yet another setback for the timeline of the 2020 campaign.
Byron Jones’ idea encouraged nearly every household name throughout the league to use their platforms to speak out. It remains to be seen if the NFL will listen by the time training camp begins for all teams.