Tom Brady appeared to have a message for those criticizing him for working out with his new Tampa Bay Buccaneers teammates while coronavirus cases spike in Florida and the NFLPA cautioned players against workouts.
Brady used a quote from former President Franklin D. Roosevelt to thumb his nose at the noise around his sessions.
“’Only thing we have to fear, is fear itself’ – FDR,” Brady wrote on an Instagram story.
Brady’s recent workouts have come as Florida sees a spike in coronavirus cases. On Thursday alone, Florida health officials reported more than 5,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 46 more deaths. It was the second-highest one-day total.
Dr. Allen Sills, the NFL’s medical director, told ESPN on Thursday that the union and the NFL are together when it comes to reducing the risk of contracting the virus.
“The NFLPA and the NFL are in the same exact place, which is we want whatever makes the safest possible environment for all of our constituents, whether they be players, coaches, trainers, medical staff [or] anyone in that team environment,” Sills said. “We’re going to work very hard to educate everyone about the steps that we feel collectively are going to be most effective in reducing risk for everyone.
“Again, this is all about risk reduction and trying to mitigate risk. We know that we can’t eliminate risk. We will work very much hand-in-hand with the players association. This is where everyone in that team environment is going to share the same risks, but they’ll also share the same responsibilities with each other, which means that everyone is going to be dependent on every other member of that team environment, for doing the very best that they can to implement these measures and keep themselves and their household members as safe as possible throughout the course of the season.”
Dr. Thom Mayer, the union’s chief medical director, sent a memo to players earlier in the week urging them to stop doing private workouts, according to NFL.com.
“Please be advised that it is our consensus medical opinion that in light of the increase in COVID-19 cases in certain states that no players should be engaged in practicing together in private workouts. Our goal is to have all players and your families as healthy as possible in the coming months,” he wrote. “We are working on the best mitigation procedures at team facilities for both training camps and the upcoming season, and believe that it is in the best interest of all players that we advise against any voluntary joint practices before training camp commences.”
The Buccaneers also had a few members of the organization test positive for the coronavirus.