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#pounditMonday, September 27, 2021

Joe Mixon criticizes NFLPA for accepting restrictions for unvaccinated players

Joe Mixon

The NFL announced updated COVID-19 protocols for the 2021 season, and it’s pretty clear that at least one player isn’t happy with them.

The new protocols, agreed upon by both the league and the NFLPA, lift most restrictions for fully vaccinated players, including the elimination of daily testing and mask requirements and full access to facilities such as weight rooms and spas. However, players who have not been fully vaccinated will still be required to undergo daily testing and wear masks. Those players are also prohibited from eating with teammates and engaging in marketing and sponsorship opportunities. Their travel will also be heavily restricted, as will their contact with friends, family, or other outside guests.

This did not sit well with Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon, who responded to the new protocols by claiming that the NFLPA “is not for the players.”

Mixon added in a later tweet that he is not for or against anyone’s decision to get the vaccine, but will “fight & die for a respected decision.”

The NFL and its teams have all encouraged players to get vaccinated, but are not mandating it. Even before the latest protocol announcement, the league had also offered a number of incentives for vaccinated players. This is the clearest message yet that players that choose not to be vaccinated are free to do so, but will be subject to numerous restrictions as a result.

Based on comments by another player this week, Mixon is unlikely to be the only player upset by this announcement.

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