By early August, most professional sports in North America have resumed. The NBA and NHL have started their postseason, while MLB finally started after months of negotiations with the player’s association.
The NFL is the only league that has not had to cancel any regular season games. They have made adjustments, like doing the draft virtually, cancelling preseason games, and setting up varying protocols to limit the spread of COVID-19.
So, the NFL is starting training camp, but not everyone is on board. Players like Dont’a Hightower, C.J. Mosley, and Nate Solder have opted out of the 2020 season.
“We’re not ready for football season,” said Beckham. “So why are we trying to push forward? It’s obviously for their money. And that bothers me because there’s always been this—and I hate saying it like that—but the owners’ [attitude is], ‘Oh, we own you guys,’ and just kind of that unfairness going on that they don’t see us as human. I just feel like the season shouldn’t happen and I’m prepared for it to not happen and I wouldn’t mind not having it.”
Even though sports like the NBA and NHL have bubbles and have had minimal exposure to COVID-19, Beckham says there is a big difference between those leagues and the NFL.
“I can understand basketball was already in the playoffs. Five-on-five basketball in an arena is going to be more intense than regular-season games. Hooping is different than playing an 11-on-11 contact sport where there’s 80 people in a locker room.”
It’s not such a simple task to contain the coronavirus. The MLB proves that it is easier said than done. The NFL will look to avoid imitating MLB’s response.
As of August 3, the day the WSJ article was published, Beckham has not opted out. If he wants to do so, he has until Thursday.