Arizona Cardinals v New England Patriots
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DeAndre Hopkins isn't pleased with the NFL's decision to punish the unvaccinated. The league sent a memo to all 32 teams Thursday that said it would not extend the season for teams that have a COVID-19 outbreak among unvaccinated players. In other words, the team with the outbreak will forfeit and take a loss.  

Hopkins vented his frustration with the league's decision in a tweet that has since been deleted. 

"Never thought I would say this. But being put in a position to hurt my team because I don't want to partake in the vaccine is making me question my future in the NFL," Hopkins posted. 

Whether or not Hopkins will get the vaccination isn't yet known, but the receiver apparently felt it was important to share his opinion on the issue -- before deciding to delete the tweet. 

The NFL is clearly pushing for teams, coaches, and players to get vaccinated with these penalties, although it has not explicitly told them they must take the vaccine. There's financial incentive in play here too, as both teams involved in any cancelation will not be paid for the lost game and the team with the outbreak among unvaccinated players will be financially responsible for the lost revenue that would have stemmed from the game. 

Not only will the team with the outbreak lose the game, but the organization takes a significant financial hit. For unvaccinated players, there's financial incentive to get vaccinated. 

The CDC has an in-depth breakdown on the COVID-19 vaccine available, including vital information. Per the CDC: 

  • COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective at preventing COVID-19 disease, especially severe illness and death.
  • COVID-19 vaccines reduce the risk of people spreading the virus that causes COVID-19.
  • You may have side effects after vaccination. These are normal and should go away in a few days.
  • It typically takes two weeks after vaccination for the body to build protection (immunity) against the virus that causes COVID-19. You are not fully vaccinated until two weeks after the second dose of a two-dose vaccine or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine.

Buffalo Bills wide receiver Cole Beasley has been outspoken since June on the COVID-19 vaccine, so Hopkins is not alone in speaking out. Other NFL players have voiced their opinion on the memo sent to the clubs, including New England Patriots linebacker Matt Judon (NSFW link here). 

Bills wideout Stefon Diggs and Seahawks cornerback DJ Reed took a different approach, despite both having different opinions on the news. 

Former NFL quarterback Derek Anderson also spoke out on the memo, claiming he would have retired if he was still in the league. Anderson's entire thread is here.  

"This is total bull---- NFL," Anderson posted on Twitter. "So if a vaccinated player contracts which they will -- no consequences? That's ridiculous. Forcing guys to get a emergency use vax that's unproven is bull----. Let them make their own decisions. Would retire tomorrow if I was still playing."

Rams star cornerback Jalen Ramsey had this to say: 

Players will certainly be vocal on the vaccine as training camps are set to open. The message is clear what the league wants, and the NFL isn't going to relent.