Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill wasn’t planning on getting the COVID vaccine but bluntly told reporters during a press conference following practice on Thursday that the NFL “forced his hand” and was making him get vaccinated whether he wanted to or not.
“I’m currently in the process right now [of being vaccinated],” Tannehill stated at the Titans training camp. “The NFL has kind of made it clear what they want to happen. If you don’t fall in line, they’re gonna make your life miserable with all the protocols.”
“I wouldn’t have gotten the vaccine, without the protocols that they’re enforcing on us,” Tannehill confessed. “I think it’s a personal decision for everyone, everyone has to make the best decision for them and their families. That’s kind of our mindset in this building. But they’re trying to force your hand and they ultimately have forced a lot of hands by the protocols.”
The NFL updated its protocols Tuesday with a warning that any player who refuses to submit to a COVID-19 test will be fined $50,000. Unvaccinated players must wear masks on the sideline during practices and games, and a waiting period for a vaccinated player to join a new team has been shortened to two days.
— Chris Harris (@ChrisHarrisWSMV) July 28, 2021
According to a league memo sent to teams, if a game can’t be rescheduled because of a COVID outbreak among unvaccinated players, the team with the outbreak will be forced to forfeit and take the loss. The rule goes into effect for the upcoming football season.
The NFL tonight sent clubs updated training camp and preseason COVID protocols, including discipline for any player — regardless of vaccination status — who refuses to wear a tracking device ($14,650) or refuses to submit to required virus testing ($50,000), per source.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) July 28, 2021
Here’s more from today’s memo, which also says the team responsible for a canceled game because of an outbreak among unvaccinated players/staff will be responsible for financial losses and subject to potential discipline from the commissioner. Wow. pic.twitter.com/Q86a2WcG1K
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) July 22, 2021
Tannehill is complying because he has to. But it won’t affect him playing ball. He’s prepping for his third season as Tennessee’s signal-caller. “It is what it is. I love this game. I love this team,” he declared. “I want to be able to compete and do the things I think are important to build chemistry and win football games. Ultimately, that forced my hand into getting the vaccine.”
Ninety percent of Titans players have already been vaccinated which is above the league average. The NFL is not mandating that players get vaccinated, but they are leaving them little choice if they don’t want to risk draconian penalties. Eighty-five percent of NFL players have reportedly received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
“The big thing that I told the entire team (Tuesday) night was that this isn’t necessarily about a vaccine,” Titans coach Mike Vrabel said. “This isn’t about masks. This isn’t about social distance. This isn’t about a fine or cameras. This is about us being responsible to each other to keep people safe – to keep our families safe, to keep our team safe, our teammates.”
“So, at the end of the day whatever your decision is, we all have to live with, but we have to make sure that we’re not making decisions for ulterior reasons, that we’re doing to keep people safe,” he added according to “Sports Illustrated.
Buffalo Bills wide receiver Cole Beasley tweeted that “I will be outside doing what I do. I’ll be out in the public. If your (sic) scared of me then steer clear, or get vaccinated. Point. Blank. Period. I may die of covid, but I’d rather die actually living.”
Public Service Announcement pic.twitter.com/XjQicdvnKm
— Cole Beasley (@Bease11) June 18, 2021
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban offered to buy Beasley’s wife Pfizer stock if the wide receiver would get vaccinated and then promote the vaccine on his social media accounts. That was in response to Beasley stating that “I’ll get vaccinated and be an advocate for it if Pfizer puts a percentage of its earnings from the vaccine in my wife’s name.”
“I’ll tell you what Cole. You get vaccinated and promote vaccination on all your social, I’ll buy your wife a share of Pfizer stock. It pays a 3.78% dividend. That way she is getting a percentage of Pfizer’s earnings. Deal ?” Cuban quipped according to Sports Illustrated.
Tannehill is loved by his fans, the vaccine… not so much:
As @DB_5trey said…”they backdoor mandated that hoe”. Not a full in mandate, but they were doing everything to make a players life miserable and it should never be like that, but big business and corporations and money and insurance claims and lawsuits will always win
— nate.schoen.roda (@shoenroda) July 28, 2021
WHAT? A true leader is going to respect personal decisions made by his teammates and encourage them to STICK TO THEIR BELIEFS, despite "peer pressure" from big Pharma, the Govt, the Association. Tannehill is the consummate leader this team needs.
— aTrueTitansFan (@titans_true) July 28, 2021
This is Bullshit! In a way the league is taking away everyone’s rights. What a crock of shit!
— Brad Sullivan (@Biggiebigbop) July 28, 2021
So it is now cowardice to stand up and point out the blatant and obvious manipulation the Govt, and by extension the NFL, is putting on our players? BUT NOT to hide behind anonymity and post that someone else is being a coward on an internet forum. Sure man.
— aTrueTitansFan (@titans_true) July 28, 2021
Forced into it
— Alex Strachan (@AlexStrachan_) July 28, 2021
Yep sounds about right and it’s wrong. Let individuals choose based on their doctors advice, not employer.
— Beau LaMeme (@BrockSimmons17) July 28, 2021
I’d say that makes the NFL liable for any adverse reactions to the vaccine if they make it mandatory.
— Bryan Harper (@BryanHa21445530) July 28, 2021
— LindaLou (@LindaLo76040601) July 28, 2021
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