BOSTON (CBS) — The NFL announced Thursday that COVID outbreaks caused by unvaccinated players during the 2021 season would lead to teams forfeiting games — and players forfeiting paychecks. Players are not very keen on the idea of potentially losing paydays because others did not get vaccinated, and those that are on the fence about getting the shot(s) are not too happy with the league either.
The threat of losing games and money has the attention of everyone in the NFL. Whether it ultimately gets the unvaccinated players and coaches to get their shots remains to be seen.READ MORE: Revs Beat Orlando City 2-1, Extend Unbeaten Streak
On Friday, Patriots long snapper Joe Cardona released a statement of his own, saying that keeping teammates, coaches and fans safe and healthy during the season should be incentive enough to get vaccinated.
Here is Cardona’s full statement, via Doug Kyed of Pro Football Focus:
“The NFL has taken a firm stance that will have massive implications to individual players. Ensuring every single player in the league is afforded the opportunity to earn every paycheck for which they are eligible is extremely important. As athletes, our time horizon for earning income is already volatile enough with factors we can control, let alone this new policy,” said Cardona.
“That being said, any member of an NFL locker room, has a duty to keep teammates, coaches, support staff and fans safe and healthy. That responsibility should be an impactful incentive all on its own to encourage everyone to get vaccinated, irregardless of financial consequences,” the long snapper added.READ MORE: Stanton's Slam Lifts Yanks To 5-3 Win, WC Tie With Red Sox
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NFL chief medical officer Allen Sills says 80% of players have taken at least one COVID-19 shot.
Nine teams over 90%.
Only five teams at less than 70 %.
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) July 23, 2021
Patriots linebacker Matt Judon blasted the NFL Player’s Association after the league’s announcement on Thursday, saying the NFLPA “[expletive] sucks” in a Tweet. Judon later revealed that he is vaccinated, but isn’t a big fan of potentially losing paychecks under the league’s new policy.