What is the NFLPA saying about group workouts? NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith isn’t pleased to see NFL players continue to work out together. This despite a union advisory sent out last weekend saying they should stop doing so.
During a recent interview, Smith was asked about social media posts from players like Tom Brady. Also, Russell Wilson working out with teammates and said they aren’t acting “in the best interest of player safety.”
“They’re not in the best interest of protecting our players heading into training camp, and I don’t think they are in the best interest of us getting through an entire season,” Smith told USA Today.
After 10 teams reported positive coronavirus tests for at least one player, Dr. Thom Mayer, the NFLPA’s medical director, issued a statement on June 20. Advising players to avoid working out with teammates to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. NFLPA has a lot to say about group workouts.
Smith also discussed ongoing talks between the league and union over 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 get that,” Smith said. “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 they test positive during the season. Does that player go on injured reserve? Do they go on short-term IR? If you test positive for the virus after training camp, is that a work-related injury? Are you covered under workers’ comp? What benefits are available to you if you have downstream injuries from contracting COVID19? The NFLPA is not happy.
“All of the things that 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 guidance because we think that was in their best health and safety interests. Let’s just say for some of the players who have practiced, we’ve made sure that they’ve heard the message.”