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Multiple 49ers join chorus of NFL players calling out league amid coronavirus concerns

© Stan Szeto | 2019 May 3

It sounds as if the NFL would like to act as if the upcoming season is business as usual. The NFL players, however, made it clear over the weekend that won’t be acceptable.

In a coordinated effort stemming from an idea by Miami Dolphins cornerback Byron Jones, a swath of players — including Drew Brees, Russell Wilson, Myles Garrett and Todd Gurley — tweeted criticism at the league regarding it’s lack of transparency regarding player safety and coronavirus protocols, just days before teams are supposed to report for training camp.

A handful of 49ers players joined the cause, including San Francisco’s vocal leader Richard Sherman. The tweets featured the hashtag #WeWantToPlay.

“The NFL has ignored the safety recommendations from the experts that THEY hired,” Sherman wrote on Sunday. “We all love this game and want to go out and compete with our brothers. The NFL needs to provide a safe work environment for us to do that.”

49ers linebacker Dre Greenlaw asked why the league is putting players in a position where they have to choose between their safety or their livelihood.

Kyle Juszczyk, George Kittle and former 49er DeForest Buckner also joined the chorus of voices.

The players frustration was reportedly inflamed by the league’s apparent lack of preparedness on a mid-week conference call. Via ESPN:

On Wednesday, the NFLPA’s executive committee held a conference call with nearly 50 of its highest-profile players intended to inform the membership on where things stand ahead of training camp, one player on the call told ESPN’s Jeff Darlington. That call took some turns, as players thought the NFLPA couldn’t answer some of the simplest questions they were asking.

Texans defensive lineman J.J. Watt laid out everything he believes the league hasn’t accounted for with his tweet on Sunday.

The 49ers and many other teams are scheduled to begin training camp on July 28. Players are subject to discipline if they do not attend.


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