July 19, 2020 / 6:56 PM / 15 days ago

NFL players take to Twitter to express concerns over COVID-19 protocols

FILE PHOTO: Sep 20, 2015; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) celebrates a touchdown by fullback Austin Johnson (not pictured) during the second half of a game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The Buccaneers defeated the Saints 26-19. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports / Reuters Picture Supplied by Action Images

(Reuters) - Some of National Football League’s biggest names took to social media on Sunday to express their concerns and anger over the lack of COVID-19 safety protocols in place as teams prepare to open training camps this week.

Super Bowl winning quarterbacks Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints and Seattle Seahawks Russell Wilson along with Houston Texans defensive end JJ Watt were among those expressing their frustration at the NFL ignoring advice from its own medical experts.

“We need Football! We need sports! We need hope! The NFL’s unwillingness to follow the recommendations of their own medical experts will prevent that. If the NFL doesn’t do their part to keep players healthy there is no football in 2020. It’s that simple. Get it done @NFL,” tweeted Brees.

Wilson’s main concern centered around his wife’s pregnancy and how the NFL plans to protect family members.

“I am concerned. My wife is pregnant. @NFL Training camp is about to start... And there’s still No Clear Plan on Player Health & Family Safety. We want to play football but we also want to protect our loved ones,” tweeted Wilson.

Watt, a three-time NFL defensive player of the year, also took to Twitter to highlight a list of issues that need to be addressed before camps open on Tuesday.

Some of those outstanding issues include information about how often players will be tested and what will happen if someone does test positive for the coronavirus.

Watt also noted that an opt-out clause “for those at higher risk or those with family members at higher risk” had still not been agreed upon.

There is also a debate over the number of pre-season games teams will play, with the league planning for two and the NFL Players Association wanting none.

Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto. Editing by Pritha Sarkar

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