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Former NHL star and current Detroit Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman has spoken out about testing healthy athletes for COVID as the NHL, NFL and NBA have become ravaged with reported cases.
“I know I’m getting political, but at the end of the day, our players are testing positive with very little symptoms, if any symptoms at all,” Yzerman told reporters. “I don’t see it as a threat to their health at this point. So I think we need to take it a step further and question why are we even testing guys that have no symptoms?”
Despite vaccination rates near 100 percent, the NHL, NFL and NBA are all experiencing what are considered major outbreaks of the coronavirus and postponing games. While vaccination supposedly isn’t intended to slow the spread (though that’s not how it was promoted at first), it is supposed to minimize symptoms.
“Players ultimately want to play,” Yzerman said. “None of the players have to come us and said, ‘Hey, we should shut this down.’ If they feel that way, they haven’t expressed it to us. I think our players have been very positive in (saying), ‘Just tell us what we need to do and we’ll do it.’
“They’ve been acceptive of the protocols, whether they like them or not is irrelevant. They’ve been willing to follow them. I think ultimately they just want to play and get through this to the best for all. Nobody wants anybody to get violently ill, deathly ill, anything like that. Guys are willing to do their part.
“But I think right now, my perception is they will do what they have to do, they want to play and get through it.”