Bengals’ Joe Mixon slams NFL, NFLPA over updated COVID protocols: ‘Not for the players’

Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon slammed the NFL and NFLPA’s updated COVID-19 protocols on Wednesday, arguing that the new policy does not accurately represent the desires of players. 

The league released a memo to all 32 clubs this week informing them of the updated procedures for vaccinated players, essentially lifting all COVID restrictions. 

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For unvaccinated players, they will still be required to test every day, wear masks and observe proper social distancing while also being prohibited from social, media, marketing and sponsorship activities, among other limitations. 

Mixon, 24, slammed the news on his Twitter saying: “The @NFLPA is not for the players.”

“They act like they represent us and they clearly show us different time & time again,” he continued. 

“I thought Football was a team sport and it’s clearly being individualized by beliefs…,” he said in a separate tweet. 

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Mixon argued that his issue was not about players being vaccinated or not but rather having the ability to decide. 

Several other players in the league have shared their hesitation to get vaccinated throughout the offseason. 

Carolina Panthers quarterback Sam Darnold said earlier this month that he still hasn’t decided just yet if it’s the “best” decision for him. 

“I still gotta think about all those certain things that go into it,” Darnold said, via The Charlotte Observer. “Again, it’s everyone’s choice whether they want to get vaccinated or not. So, that’s really all I got on it. I don’t want to go too into detail.”

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” … I’m just staying by myself right now. I don’t have a family or anything like that … I’m gonna evaluate that on my own and make the best decision that I feel like, again, is the best for myself,” he added. 

His comments followed those of Washington pass rusher Montez Sweat, who came out against his team’s attempt to persuade players to get vaccinated against COVID-19 by bringing in a specialist to talk to the team. 

“I’m not a fan of it,” Sweat said. “I probably won’t get vaccinated until I get more facts and that stuff. I’m not a fan of it at all.”

Wednesday’s memo provides a strong incentive for players to get vaccinated. Those who break protocol could be fined up to $50,000.