NFLPA DeMaurice Smith Says Workouts Go Against Player Safety

NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith is not happy to see NFL players continue to work together despite a union notice sent out last weekend that says they should stop doing so.

During an interview with USA Today, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady and Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson specifically asked about the training’s social media posts and he said no they are acting “in the best interest of the safety of the players”.

“They are not in the best interest of protecting our players heading to training camp, and I don’t think they are in the best interest of us getting through a full season,” Smith told USA Today.

On June 20, NFLPA medical director Dr. Thom Mayer issued a statement advising players to avoid training with their teammates to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

The statement was made after around 10 teams reported positive coronavirus tests for at least one player, a source told ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler.

Despite the warning, Brady and several of his new Buccaneers teammates, including tight end Rob Gronkowski, continued to train at a high school in Tampa, Florida, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

Smith also addressed the ongoing talks between the league and the union on how positive coronavirus cases among players will be handled from a roster and benefits perspective.

“I certainly understand how competitive our players are and I understand that,” Smith told USA Today. “But at the same time, we are in the process of trying to negotiate, we have to negotiate with the league about what happens to a player if his result is positive during the season. Does that player enter the injured reserve? GO to Short-term? If the virus test is positive after training camp, is it a work-related injury? Is it covered by workers’ compensation? What benefits are available to you if you have subsequent injuries by contacting COVID-19?

“All the things players may want to do during the offseason have a direct impact on how well we can negotiate protections for them once the season starts. We sent out the guide because we believe it was in their best interests for health and safety. ” Let’s say that for some of the players who have practiced, we have made sure that they have heard the message. “

The NFL maintains that training camps will begin on time at the end of next month, and league executive vice president / general counsel Jeff Pash said Thursday that there are “active discussions” about what will happen after that point.

The Hall of Fame Game, the league’s first annual preseason game that was originally scheduled for August 8, has already been canceled by the Professional Soccer Hall of Fame. The NFL regular season is slated to begin on September 10.