The NFL Players Association wants daily COVID-19 testing for fully vaccinated players.
The league and the union agreed last week to update protocols so vaccinated players would be tested weekly instead of every 14 days as they were during training camp.
That’s not enough, according to NFLPA president and Cleveland Browns center JC Tretter.
“Since the beginning of training camp, we have been testing our vaccinated players once every 14 days. It has been ineffective as we’ve had significantly more incidents of transmission inside the building this year than last year,” Tretter wrote in a column on the union’s website. “The NFLPA saw this coming months ago and has been advocating for a return to daily testing because it is more effective way to stop and prevent the spread of the coronavirus in our locker rooms. However, the NFL decided to move to weekly testing; and while that is a step in the right direction, it leaves us open to many of the same problems we’ve been facing.”
The league most recently announced 93% of players are vaccinated. Unvaccinated players are tested daily and face strict protocol requirements. The league didn’t immediately respond to a request for a response to Tretter’s comments.
“We are all tired. No one likes that this is the world we are living in still this season. No one likes mitigation methods,” Tretter wrote. “But we cannot do what is easy over what is right. We cannot do what is cheaper over what is right. We have been warned by our experts that, because of our current testing cadence, we are at more risk of missed games this season than last season. If we continue to go down this path, I need everyone in the football community to be aware of what lies ahead.”
In his column, Tretter also criticized the league’s taunting point of emphasis.
“We would support the removal of this point of emphasis immediately,” Tretter said. “Fans enjoy the intensity and the raw emotion that our players show on the field; and the overwhelming majority of the time, players understand the line between that emotion and bad sportsmanship.”
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