The Premier League has unanimously decided to restart contact training and resume the season. The captain of Watford, Troy Deeney, however, was concerned about reopening in the middle of a global pandemic and voiced his opinion on social media.
He was abused both in public and on social media for his statement. People went as far as wishing for his five-month-old baby to get the coronavirus. On the street, people have been yelling at him to ‘go back to work’.
Deeney and a few other high-profile players have spoken up against this, however, many players have been showing their support in private because they are afraid of the abuse and the backlash.
Initially, people thought Watford’s purpose was to prevent the relegation of his club, which is why he was pushing the Premier League to cancel the season. However, later he explained that he was only concerned about his family as he has a young son and the league did not give him satisfactory answers.
Public opinion changed towards him when other high-profile members from the top teams began to speak out in favor of Watford. He went on to say that he believes the players have a lot of power if only they stand united.
The government’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer has been providing information to Deeney regarding how the virus has largely affected minorities more. Deeney has praised him for reassuring the player that preventative measures will be taken to ensure all of the players’ health.
Watford believes that even if the season resumes right now, it would not be a viable competition due to the pandemic and the two-month break in the season. He is of the view that the season has already lost its integrity.
Moreover, the British Health Secretary also criticized the football players stating that they should contribute to counter the pandemic and take a pay cut.
This issue was also aggravated when the Premier League paid the wages of players on temporary leave with the help of the government’s job scheme, which was intended for people most affected by the virus.
Watford spoke out on the issue claiming that they were already intending to make donations but came under fire before they could go through with it.
Following this, the footballers of the Premier League initiated ‘PlayersTogether’ to donate to NHS charities amidst the coronavirus pandemic.