NEW ORLEANS — In a Facebook post, New Orleans Saints Quarterback criticized the NFL's handling of the start of the 2020 season, saying people need football to give them hope during the crisis.
"We need Football! We need sports! We need hope!" Brees wrote. "The NFL’s unwillingness to follow the recommendations of their own medical experts will prevent that. If the NFL doesn’t do their part to keep players healthy there is no football in 2020. It’s that simple. Get it done @NFL"
Brees' opinion comes on the heels of the league's decision to cut the preseason in half, and after Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and one of the nation's most trusted coronavirus researchers, said a fall football season was still up in the air.
In an interview on CNN, Fauci warned of a second wave of coronavirus in the fall, complicated by the annual flu season. That second wave, if it hits with the same deadly force as the first, could prevent an NFL season from being played normally, or at all.
In response to Fauci's comments, the NFL's chief medical officer, Dr. Allen Sills, sent a statement to ESPN saying they were looking at all possibilities for the fall, but were still planning to play the season on time.
"We are developing a comprehensive and rapid-result testing program and rigorous protocols that call for a shared responsibility from everybody inside our football ecosystem," Sills wrote. "We will make adjustments as necessary to meet the public health environment as we prepare to play the 2020 season as scheduled with increased protocols and safety measures for all players, personnel, and attendees."
The NFL sent a letter to teams Saturday telling them that training would begin by the end of the month. Brees, as a quarterback, is scheduled to report to training for the 2020 season on July 23.