Deion Sanders on NFL Players Who Opt Out: The Game Will Go on Without You

Deion Sanders
Getty Images/Joel Auerbach

Deion Sanders has a message for the dozens of NFL players who have opted out of the 2020 season, citing concerns about contracting the coronavirus: The game will be fine without you.

The Hall of Famer and NFL Network personality made his thoughts on the matter plain in a tweet on Friday night.

“All Players OPTING out in all sports PLEASE BELIEVE the game will go on without u,” Sanders wrote. “This is a business & don’t u EVER forget that. There’s NO ONE that’s bigger than the game itself. Only the ref, umps & officials are that important that u can’t play without them. NOT YOU! #Truth.”

Sanders then sought to put the issue in a more broad context.

Sanders’ tweet drew notable backlash. Sherrilyn Ifill the president and idrector of the NAACP’s legal defense fund, saw the tweet as a call for players to risk their lives. Sanders disputed that notion.

Sanders’ tweet seems needless, at first. Yes, obviously it’s a business and the game will not be canceled by a few dozen players deciding not to play. On the other hand, the message is a welcome one as the sports media has glorified and heaped praise on athletes for electing to not play.

Whether one plays or not, is his decision. But why should that be celebrated? How is that good? Especially for the sports media? Shouldn’t deciding to play, even with the risk of infection, be shown as being a more brave decision? If we’re going to start making people heroes for playing or not playing?

In any event, the game will go on and the NFL will start their season, as Sanders says. Though, given the trouble that Major League Baseball is having with their restarted season right now, the real question is: Will they finish it?

Follow Dylan Gwinn on Twitter @themightygwinn


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