Opinions have been varied on the COVID-19 vaccine since the pandemic's inception, and now that the NFL has continued to bring down an iron fist to convince players to get the vaccination some stars are speaking out.

This comes after the NFL informed teams Thursday that should a COVID-19 outbreak occur amongst a team's unvaccinated players, the team will be required to forfeit that game and credited with a loss. Also, if it is necessary to cancel the game then neither team's players would be paid for that game.

Reaction around the league to the drastic measures were swift, and sometimes shocking.

Former Houston Texans star receiver DeAndre Hopkins tweeted that being forced to get vaccinated may force him to retire.

"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." 

The tweet has since been deleted. However, Hopkins did follow it up with another simply saying; "Freedom?" 

Shortly afterward, in response to Los Angeles Rams defensive back Jalen Ramsey saying he won't look at teammates differently if they chose not to get vaccinated, Hopkins tweeted: "My girlfriend brother in the military got the vaccine and had heart problems right after. When you stand for something they hate you!"

Naturally, this has divided opinions on social media and this feels like just the beginning. 

ESPN's Kimberly A. Martin tweeted out earlier today that: "I’ve spoken to NFL players who feel the league changed its tune, going from “it’s your choice” to get the Covid vaccine to now feeling “forced” (their word, not mine) to get it because of the restrictions for unvaccinated guys."

Throw in the fact that another former Texan, defensive tackle D.J. Reader, and Buffalo Bills wide receiver Cole Beasley have taken to social media to voice controversial thoughts on the vaccine, it seems highly likely that in the coming days and weeks more and more players will speak up with their true opinions and kick start a debate about whether the NFL's forcefulness is justified or not.

This article first appeared on FanNation Texans Daily and was syndicated with permission.

More must-reads:

Customize Your Newsletter


Get the latest news and rumors, customized to your favorite sports and teams. Emailed daily. Always free!

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.