Now, I will freely concede that any player can sit out if they want and not one of them is beholden to play in the NFL ever if they choose not. And I’m okay if they do - that just provides opportunity for someone else.TODD GURLEY
RB, ATLANTA FALCONS
Todd Gurley said he's open to sitting out the season if the NFL doesn't come up with a proper COVID-19 safety plan.
“It’s really not structured right,” Gurley said about the NFL’s current restart plan. “There’s not a proper plan in place that I’m comfortable with. I don’t have a wife. I don’t have any kids. You have to look at guys on the other side who have [a] pregnant wife, kids and a wife that they go home to every single day. I just feel like we just need to come up with something a lot better than what they’re giving us. Everything they gave us is pretty last minute. We should have been able to have answers weeks ago, if not months ago. You have to be prepared to not play or be prepared to have a half a season. If they don’t do things right, we won’t have a full season. It’s just how things have been going so far this year. Hopefully everything goes well, but I don’t see [it]. It just doesn’t sit well right now.” The league and NFLPA are working on a plan as we speak, but this is something that should've been done weeks ago, as Gurley said, with training camps scheduled to open this coming week. Gurley is one of the first players we've seen actually talk about the possibility of sitting out.
However, we have got some significant issues going on in the country right now and could probably use a morale booster like the NFL playing this season for all of us. For a guy like Gurley is who has the gift to be able to play in the NFL to just shrug it off so lightly just really pisses me off.
We have a ton of people right now who don’t have a choice on whether they will go to work or not - they can’t because they lost their job and can’t find another one. You know, Todd, that we have people who defend this country and make literally 1/100th of what you make in a year doing it and get deployed overseas to sometimes God forsaken parts of the world for extended times away from their families as part of their jobs. And they take a lot greater chances with their lives than a young healthy guy like you does from any risk of COVID.
There is no reason why a NFL player with a family member at risk couldn’t play the season out of a remote location, still be able to take care of their family financially and stay in close contact through phone and telecommunications while they do so, and then return after the season, given the extraordinary circumstances that all of us are under. You have been given a huge privilege to be able to do what you do and be compensated like you are, and it really doesn’t strike me well that you come off acting like such a victim when you are free to choose whatever course you do this season and most probably still be completely whole financially. A whole lot of other people are in much more dire circumstances than you are and don’t have the choices you do moving forward this year.
You want to sit? Then sit. But stop bitching about expecting even more additional help from the league given where you already are and take on some of the responsibility for your own well being and that of your family.
Okay, rant over.