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NFLPA remains steadfast in demand to cancel entire preseason

DeMaurice Smith, NFLPA

The NFL and the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) have encountered yet another roadblock in their conversation about the upcoming season. The league is hoping to slate two preseason contests for each team. However, the union disagrees and wants no involvement in any preseason games at all.

NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith said on a conference call with the Pro Football Writers of America:

“To engage in two games where players would be flying all over the country and then engaging with each other to work, and to do that prior to the season, doesn’t increase the likelihood of starting and finishing the season on time,”

The main concern about the upcoming season obviously revolves around the coronavirus pandemic. With the nature of how football is being played, an infected person may easily spread the virus around like wildfire. Risking the players’ health for the actual games that matter is dangerous enough as is. It’s understandable that the players would rather skip out on any unnecessary games.

The coronavirus pandemic still show no signs of slowing down, as the positive cases have reached 3.6 million with a death toll close to 140,000. Fresh cases also continue to rise, with a total of over 460,000 new infections in the last 7 days. There might be a rise in these numbers if the league insists to push through with the preseason games along with the regular season. The NFLPA’s demand to cancel the preseason entirely is obviously understandable.

There are less than two weeks to go before training camps start. However, the NFL has yet to place strict health protocols for the teams to follow once the football operations begin.  As much as football fans everywhere are excited to see their teams in action, it’s obviously health first. The league must give utmost priority to the safety of the players and coaches.