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Empty promises on behalf of the NFL and NFLPA regarding COVID guidelines continues to stir up confusion among its players. The most recent critic of the malleable mandates has been Chicago Bears’ TE Jimmy Graham, who confessed to getting his vaccine in order to avoid further testing, but will still be subjected to daily testing.
The NFLPA released a statement to its players indicating that vaccinated members would still require testing since “Vaccinated players can both contract and spread the Delta variant,” which is further proof that the initial dialog regarding the vaccines was anything but transparent.
The announcement also detailed that 32 vaccinated players have tested positive for COVID since the start of training camp.
With ongoing COVID testing, vaccinated players will be subject to quarantining away from the team’s activities, if tested positive, which is no different than the ruling for unvaccinated players.
Graham tweeted his frustration directed at the NFLPA by claiming he was “basically forced into getting the vaccine.” The 12-year veteran tight end also added: “I’ve done everything I’ve been asked and now feel like I’m being punished. If I miss a test that you’re proposing every day I’ll be fined a max 150k! How does this make sense? How’s the punishment 100x worse than last year and I’m vaccinated now?”
Noted in the Fox News report, Graham discussed his mired perception on the vaccine, and how his opinion has solidified based on the NFLPA’s lack of respect for personal decisions made on behalf of grown men who already risk their health on the field.
“I’ve been in the league going on 12 years now, and it’s been kind of frustrating at times with them [the NFLPA]. I’m not going to hold back. I’m a grown man. And I wish somebody would talk to me and speak to me like a grown man and let me have a little bit of say in some things.”
Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill previously expressed a similar sentiment regarding his decision to get vaccinated, showcasing that the NFL’s stringent restrictions continue to force health decisions against the players’ volition.
“It is what it is. I love this game. I love this team,” commented Tannehill. “I want to be able to compete and do the things I think are important to build chemistry and win football games. Ultimately, that forced my hand into getting the vaccine.”
Follow along on Twitter: @AlejandroAveela