The United States is still reeling from the COVID-19 pandemic and has the highest number of cases in the world. In spite of this, the NFL is still on schedule, though some have grown nervous about the health crisis. Among them is Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ offensive tackle, Donovan Smith.
He told ESPN that it was not worth risking his and his family’s health. Smith took to Instagram to express his concerns about his and his teammates’ safety, and the NFL’s testing protocols.
He was also upset about the notion of slashing 35% of player salaries to make up for lost revenue.
Later this month, players are expected to report to training camps to prepare for the new season. However, the situation in America is worsening by the day. Florida has been one of the states trying to return to normal but has had it backfire with a surge of COVID-19 cases.
“The unfortunate events of the COVID-19 pandemic have put a halt to a lot of things. Football is not one. To continue discussing the many UNKNOWNS do not give me the comfort,” Smith wrote.
“Risking my health as well as my family’s health does not seem like a risk worth taking. With my first child due in 3 weeks, I can’t help but think about how will I be able to go to work and take proper precautions around 80+ people everyday to then go home to be with my newborn daughter.”
In his five seasons with the Buccaneers, Donovan Smith has missed just a solitary game. He urged the NFL to raise player salaries because they are risking their lives when they turn up for practice and use team facilities and play.
So, he is obviously furious to learn that the NFL could withhold 35% of the players’ paychecks. This is why he believes that they deserve a pay raise and not the opposite.
He concluded, “I am not a lab rat or guinea pig to test theories on. I am a man, a son, brother, soon to be a father, and I deserve to be safe at work.”