BOSTON (CBS) – Tom Brady has been facing criticism in recent days for holding workouts with his new Tampa Bay Buccaneers teammates despite coronavirus recommendations from health officials. The latest comes from Brady’s own player’s union.
In recent weeks, multiple members of the Tampa Bay organization tested positive for COVID-19. That was part of the reason the NFLPA doctor advised all players that they should not be working out together during a time when cases in Florida continue to surge.
Despite the recommendations, Brady continued to hold workouts with about a dozen teammates. The sessions last about two hours.
USA Today asked NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith about the workouts. Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson has been holding similar sessions of his own.
“Those practices are not in the best interest of player safety. They’re not in the best interest of protecting our players heading into training camp. And I don’t think they are in the best interest of us getting through an entire season,” said Smith.
Smith said that in addition to the safety concerns, Brady’s workouts also hurt the NFLPA’s coronavirus negotiations heading into the season.
“I certainly understand how competitive our players are and I get that. But at the same time, we have to negotiate with the league about what happens to a player if they test positive during the season,” said Smith.
“All of the things that players may want to do during the offseason have a direct impact on how well we can negotiate protections for them once the season starts.”
Smith also had a message for NFL fans when it comes to their own coronavirus precautions.
“If our fans truly want football back, there is no greater exercise of fan loyalty than to engage in social distancing, wear a mask, wash your hands and do your best to mitigate the spread of this virus,” told USA Today.