Graham calls out NFLPA over COVID-19 testing, 17th game
Chicago Bears tight end Jimmy Graham questioned the NFLPA on numerous issues Thursday, including the union's recommendation that players and staff be tested daily for COVID-19 regardless of vaccination status.
"Was basically forced into getting the vaccine. Now I’m just confused. @NFLPA," Graham tweeted alongside an NFLPA memo Thursday.
Unvaccinated players are tested daily while vaccinated players are tested once every two weeks under the current COVID-19 protocols. However, the NFLPA is pushing for daily testing for vaccinated players due to the emergence of the Delta variant.
Graham also tweeted his displeasure with the league's penalties for missing a COVID-19 test:
I've done everything I've been asked and now feel like I'm being punished. If I miss a test that your proposing everyday I'll be fined a max 150k! How does this make sense. How's the punishment 100x worse than last year and I'm vaccinated now?
He brought up the implementation of a 17th regular-season game as another cause of frustration.
"I'm not going to hold back. I'm a grown man. And I wish somebody would talk to me and speak to me like a grown man and let me have a little bit of say in some things," the 34-year-old said, according to ESPN's Jeff Dickerson. "I'm about to go onto Week 17 playing for free as well. How does that make any sense? Who even petitioned for that? I certainly didn't."
Head coach Matt Nagy added that the tight end has not approached him to discuss his concerns.
"All these guys have opinions and beliefs, and I'm never going to criticize anybody for what their belief is. We all have it, and we all have the ability to voice it," said Nagy.