TAMPA (WFLA) – Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Leonard Fournette tweeted, then subsequently deleted, his thoughts about the coronavirus vaccine in an apparent response to the NFL’s new COVID-19 protocols.
“Vaccine I can’t do it,” the Super Bowl champion wrote Thursday afternoon. The tweet was deleted less than half an hour after it was posted but was screenshotted by several users.
Fournette was just one of several NFL players who voiced their opinions on COVID-19 vaccines Thursday after the NFL issued a memo to teams warning that they could forfeit a game due to a COVID-19 outbreak among unvaccinated players. The league said players on both teams wouldn’t get paid.
Other notable players who voiced their opposition to the vaccine following the announcement include wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins of the Arizona Cardinals.
In a tweet that’s now been deleted, Hopkins wrote, “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.”
He also tweeted “Freedom?”
Los Angeles Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey also weighed in, saying he wouldn’t judge teammates who choose not to get vaccinated.
“The NFL is pressuring/’influencing’ guys to get the vaccine. They are saying if there is an outbreak, the team will be penalized heavily. My point is no teammate of mine will feel that pressure from me,” Ramsey wrote.
Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians has been vocal in his efforts to have his team get vaccinated.
“If you want to get back to normal, get vaccinated,” Arians has previously said. “Eighty-five percent is what we are shooting for and I think everybody is tired of meeting out here and eating outside and doing all of those things we had to do last year so it is still a personal choice but I do not see a reason not to be vaccinated.”
Arians admitted he has not spoken to any player who does not feel comfortable receiving the vaccine. He simply thinks they are “too lazy” to get it, which is partially why the organization is bringing the vaccines to the players.
Buccaneers training camp kicks off on Sunday.