Sports fans have been holding their breath for months now, wondering just how much longer they can hold onto the hope of having a football season, any football season, in 2020.
There are already plenty of concerns about the NFL’s slate of games. Players are dropping like flies, opting out of the season for health and safety reasons. Teams are struggling with just how to travel and play safely, and even the best laid plans have been torn asunder by the major failures within MLB’s COVID-19 experiment. And that’s not mentioning that baseball is a far less contact-heavy sport, with far fewer members on teams and staffs.
We mustn’t forget college football, either, where players aren’t even paid in the traditional sense and, as such, aren’t exactly enthusiastic about assuming any added and avoidable risk.
It looks like a player revolt might be coming just over the horizon now.
A group of Pac-12 football players from multiple schools penned a letter in The Players’ Tribune threatening to opt out of fall camp and game participation unless their demands for fair treatment, safety regulations and concerns over racial justice for college athletes are met by the conference.
The letter is signed by Players of the Pac-12 and uses the hashtag #WeAreUnited to explain the group’s concerns, saying, “Because NCAA sports exploit college athletes physically, economically and academically, and also disproportionately harm Black college athletes, #WeAreUnited.”
Other conferences, such as the SEC, have already announced plans to limit games and travel, focusing on playing in-conference and in close proximity to one another.