Chicago Bears tight end Jimmy Graham is confused.
The NFL is pushing the COVID vaccination on its players, and the National Football League Players Association is now pushing for vaccinated players to be tested for COVID every day as well. It seems that he’s fed up.
Early Thursday morning, Graham took to Twitter to express his frustrations.
“Was basically forced into getting the vaccine,” Graham wrote along with a memo from the NFLPA. “Now I’m just confused.”
— Jimmy Graham (@TheJimmyGraham) August 5, 2021
“I’ve done everything I’ve been asked and now feel like I’m being punished,” Graham said in response to his first tweet. “If I miss a test that your [sic] proposing everyday [sic] I’ll be fined a max 150k! How does this make sense. How’s the punishment 100x worse than last year and I’m vaccinated now?”
In a July memo to teams, the NFL said that a “refusal to submit to virus testing or wear a tracking monitor would result in fines of $50,000 and $14,650, respectively.”
Graham certainly seems to be standing on solid ground when it comes to his complaint. At the moment, players who are fully vaccinated are only tested once every 14 days. It’s just one of the many perks vaccinated players have over their unvaccinated counterparts. But as the Delta variant continues to bring a rise in cases, the NFLPA is looking to increase testing for vaccinated players as well.
Graham shared a memo from the NFLPA to players:
We will be approaching the NFL to recommend increasing the frequency of testing for vaccinated staff and players.
- Based on the guidance of our medical experts and what we know about this new variant, this is the best defense we have to prevent infections and protect you and your family, while also executing a full season.
- We will recommend BRL PCR testing for vaccinated staff and players each day you/they enter the facility, the goal of which is to detect positive cases quickly and prevent the spread of the virus. …
- In the event of an apparent virus spread among a club, masking may be required for all players and staff, regardless of vaccination status. This is similar to the intensive protocols last year and designed to prevent an outbreak.
Graham met with the media after practice and voiced his frustrations about getting the vaccine and still potentially having to test every day for COVID.
“For me, it’s one of these things where, last year, I understand last year and what was happening last year,” Graham said, as reported by ESPN. “We all made a commitment to try to make this season happen, like that season happened, to try to make a run and win the Super Bowl. I understood what that was about. You know there wasn’t a vaccine available. There was a lot less known about it, so we had to take those measures to do that.”
“I thought we also had a game plan going into this season, and now we’re kind of redacting and retracting on that. So it’s a bit frustrating for myself, who went out and got the vaccine just so I could, you know, do the same thing and have another successful healthy season. That’s all I’m going to say about that.”
In related COVID/vaccine news, Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins returned to practice Thursday after spending time on the reserve/COVID-19 list. Cousins was required to quarantine for five days after being in contact with rookie Kellen Mond, who tested positive for COVID.
Cousins said the vaccine decision was a “private health matter,” according to Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
“I think the vaccination decision is a private health matter for me, and I’m going to keep it as such,” Cousins said. “I do believe that as a leader of the team it’s very important to follow the protocols to avoid this close contact because that is what it’s going to come down to. Did you have a close contact? So I’m going to be vigilant about avoiding a close contact.”
“I’ve even thought about, should I just set up literally Plexiglas around where I sit so that this could never happen again? I’ve thought about it. Because I’m going to do whatever it takes. So we’re going to avoid this close-contact thing and I look forward to making sure I’m playing for every game this year.”
Joe Morgan is the Sports Reporter for The Daily Wire. Most recently, Morgan covered the Clippers, Lakers, and the NBA for Sporting News. Send your sports questions to email@example.com.