Khalil Mack and Other NFL Stars Voice Concerns About the Start of Training Camp

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Khalil Mack and Other NFL Stars Voice Concerns About the Start of Training Camp

Chicago Bears

Football is coming.

But long before kickoffs happen around the league, NFL players need to know what health and safety protocols are going to be in place as report dates start this week for the Chiefs and Texans, while the other 30 training camps are set to open around the league in nine days. Today, many players took to Twitter to take that position publicly.

Among them, Chicago Bears star pass-rusher Khalil Mack:

 

Among the many others:

Players expressing concerns about playing in the midst of a pandemic in what looks to be a coordinated effort by some big names is a big deal. And in the player-empowerment era we live in, tweets from some of the league’s best and most prominent players serves as a reminder that the NFL and NFLPA still have plenty of things to iron out before the season starts.

Yes, I recognize there are issues to deal with from an economic standpoint. And that might be a point of contention at some point in the near future. HOWEVER, this is clearly an effort from the players side expressing that they want to play a season, and to do so, pushing to ensure that health and safety is prioritized as much as anything. For what it’s worth, I suppose the two sides can talk through the financial stuff while camp goes on and players ramp up for the season. But players are making it known that they want to play, hence, driving home the importance that health and safety matters in order to make this happen. How can you expect players to report to training camp and start taking extra risks when they don’t even know what protocols are going to be in place?

Players voicing concerns about their health and safety today is why this tweet on Friday from the NFL feigning optimism made me feel uneasy:

Don’t get me wrong. I want this football season to happen. And I would love to be more optimistic about things. Heck, a friend once called me “the most overtly optimistic person” they know, and it’s arguably the nicest thing anyone has said to me. But the realist in me notices that the NFL’s statement doesn’t mention anything the NFL and NFLPA aren’t agreeing on right now — and we know it’s not as if there are just a couple of “Ts” to cross and “Is” to dot here. There are big, big issues to still work out:

These feel like good starting points. But with camps opening up soon, we should be closer to finding resolutions, not just talking about “good starting points.”

Again, I would love if the NFL was able to avoid the type of public fighting that sullied much of MLB’s summer (especially in the first year of a new CBA), and avoid having to “impose” a season, as MLB did. Getting health and safety right is an important first step, and the players aren’t gonna be quiet about it.



Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.