At least one of the NFL‘s star players appears to be unhappy with the league’s new COVID-19 restrictions. DeAndre Hopkins of the Arizona Cardinals took aim at the NFL on Thursday, just hours after the league issued a letter stating that teams that experience a COVID-19 epidemic among unvaccinated players may be subject to forfeits in the event of a game cancellation.
“Never thought I would say this, But being put in a position to hurt my team because I don’t want to partake in the vaccine is making me question my future in the @NFL,” Hopkins wrote in a since-deleted tweet.
Hopkins later retracted his remark in a subsequent tweet, adding, “Btw, I got approximately 9 more years in me, y’all have a good day.”
According to the Associated Press
Hopkins, 29, has established himself as one of the league’s top receivers over the course of his eight-year career. He is a three-time All-Pro who has established himself as one of the finest players in the league at pulling in challenged catches, including a Hail Mary score that gave Arizona an unexpected victory over the Buffalo Bills last November.
DeAndre Hopkins set a career high with 115 receptions, 1,406 receiving yards, and six touchdowns after being traded from the Houston Texans to the Cardinals last year.
The NFL stated in a memo released on Thursday that it will not prolong the regular season to allow for the postponing of any games where a team has a COVID-19 outbreak involving unvaccinated players. If a game is declared a forfeit, neither team receives their weekly compensation.
Vaccinations are not required by the NFL or the NFL Players Association. However, the two sides came to an agreement on protocols that involve a variety of restrictions for players who refuse to be vaccinated.
According to the Associated Press, the Cardinals were one of four teams who did not reach the 50 percent vaccination criteria last week. However, a league representative told USA TODAY Sports on Thursday that all teams have since crossed that bar. COVID-19 has seen 78 percent of the league’s players get at least one shot so far.