It was only a matter of time before NFL players would take to social media to respond to information in a memo that shows the league could force forfeits and withhold pay if games can't occur, as scheduled, during the upcoming season because of a COVID-19 outbreak among unvaccinated personnel.
Arizona Cardinals All-Pro wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins was among them, although he apparently had second thoughts and deleted an initial tweet suggesting he could consider retiring to avoid receiving a COVID-19 vaccine shot:
DeAndre Hopkins deleted a tweet “questioning [his] future” in the NFL after the league announced any team with a COVID outbreak due to unvaccinated players could result in a forfeit pic.twitter.com/PsOeCWQy4u— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) July 22, 2021
Hopkins ultimately returned to Twitter to continue a rant that included a claim somebody he knows suffered an adverse effect from one of the vaccines widely proven to be safe:
Freedom?— Deandre Hopkins (@DeAndreHopkins) July 22, 2021
They love you one minute then hate you the next! Know thyself. https://t.co/aNKbgO5NSK— Deandre Hopkins (@DeAndreHopkins) July 22, 2021
According to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, Hopkins would owe the Cardinals $22 million in unearned signing bonus money if he chose to retire rather than play unvaccinated or get one of the vaccines before the start of the regular season.
If players retire over the vaccination issue, here's the simple reality: Plenty of others will fall all over themselves to try to replace them. Supply >>> demand.— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) July 22, 2021
Every year, star players are lost for the year due to injury in August or September, and the train keeps right on rolling. Even if star players walk away, the game will keep going.— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) July 22, 2021