As American sports begins the slow process to reopening and getting back on track in a COVID-ridden world, the National Football League is encountering pushback from a group who run the risk of lethal brain trauma every day but inexplicably refuse to face the risk of contracting the virus: the players.
Still in the early stages of training, coaches have reported players engaging in unusual behavior such as wrapping their body entirely in Clorox wipes before drills and taking their post-workout baths in hand sanitizer instead of ice. One such player, Deshean White, has taken to wearing masks over every open orifice on his body during any kind of practice.
“Ever since I heard this virus can sneak in through your holes, I haven’t gone a second without plugging ‘em all up,” Deshean explained through twenty-foot-back sign language after leaving teammate Joe Jackson in a comatose state that doctors estimate he has a 20% chance of waking up from. “It’s all about taking care of myself and each other, you know? Health comes first, and I’m not about to let some fucked-up disease ruin my or anybody else’s future.”
So far, games have played smoothly and this behavior hasn’t delayed the schedule set by the NFL commission, but it hasn’t been all that some fans have hoped for.
“I knew that things would be different, by when I see my top fantasy player deliver a spine-shattering blow to halt the QB on the line before turning around to offer him a hand wipe, it just doesn’t feel the same,” fan Jimmy Nickel said. “These guys are at their athletic prime! They’re supposed to be splattering blood all over the field and screaming about death and honor!”
At press time, many players are backing a motion that would prohibit the use of helmets and padding, citing CDC warnings about surface-to-surface transmission of the virus and instead proposing airtight onesies with oxygen tanks.