Sports

“I am Not a Lab Rat or Guinea Pig”- Donovan Smith Voices Against Playing During Global Health Crisis

Donovan Smith

The United States is still reeling from the COVID-19 pandemic and has the highest number of cases in the world. In spite of this, the NFL is still on schedule, though some have grown nervous about the health crisis. Among them is Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ offensive tackle, Donovan Smith.

He told ESPN that it was not worth risking his and his family’s health. Smith took to Instagram to express his concerns about his and his teammates’ safety, and the NFL’s testing protocols.

He was also upset about the notion of slashing 35% of player salaries to make up for lost revenue.

Later this month, players are expected to report to training camps to prepare for the new season. However, the situation in America is worsening by the day. Florida has been one of the states trying to return to normal but has had it backfire with a surge of COVID-19 cases.

What did Donovan Smith say?

“The unfortunate events of the COVID-19 pandemic have put a halt to a lot of things. Football is not one. To continue discussing the many UNKNOWNS do not give me the comfort,” Smith wrote.

“Risking my health as well as my family’s health does not seem like a risk worth taking. With my first child due in 3 weeks, I can’t help but think about how will I be able to go to work and take proper precautions around 80+ people everyday to then go home to be with my newborn daughter.”

View this post on Instagram

@nfl @nflpa To whom it may concern: With the start of the 2020 NFL season fast approaching, many thoughts and questions roam my mind as I’m sure it does for many of my fellow “coworkers” across the league. The unfortunate events of the COVID-19 pandemic have put a halt to a lot of things. Football is not one. To continue discussing the many UNKNOWNS do not give me the comfort. Risking my health as well as my family’s health does not seem like a risk worth taking. With my first child due in 3 weeks, I can’t help but think about how will I be able to go to work and take proper precautions around 80+ people everyday to then go home to be with my newborn daughter. How can a sport that requires physical contact on every snap and transferral of all types of bodily fluid EVERY SINGLE PLAY practice safe social distancing? How can I make sure that I don’t bring COVID-19 back to my household? Yes, we can get tested everyday, but if it takes 24 hours to get my results, how can I know each day that I am not spreading this virus or contracting it? The reoccurring issue here is how? There are too many “hows” that have yet to be answered to ease player concerns and ensure the safety of not only myself, but also my family. I just can’t imagine how the game will be the same during these unprecedented times. Now to hear that 35% of my paycheck may be withheld while we are out sacrificing our health and wellness for the joy and entertainment of everyone else who will be safe at home in front of their TVs? Something isn’t right here. That should at LEAST warrant a pay raise due to the risk, not a cut. I am not a lab rat or guinea pig to test theories on. I am a man, a son, brother, soon to be father, and I deserve to be safe at work.

A post shared by Donovan Smith (@dsmith_76) on

In his five seasons with the Buccaneers, Donovan Smith has missed just a solitary game. He urged the NFL to raise player salaries because they are risking their lives when they turn up for practice and use team facilities and play.

So, he is obviously furious to learn that the NFL could withhold 35% of the players’ paychecks. This is why he believes that they deserve a pay raise and not the opposite.

He concluded, “I am not a lab rat or guinea pig to test theories on. I am a man, a son, brother, soon to be a father, and I deserve to be safe at work.”

ALSO READ- WATCH: Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Pro Bowler Undergoes an Intense Training Routine Ahead of NFL Season

 

About the author

Evan Lewis

Evan Lewis

With a knack for storytelling, Evan started News Brig about a year ago. Covering substantial topics under the Sports,, he helps information seep in deeper with creative writing and content management skills.

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