Amari Cooper returned to the field after missing two games due to COVID-19. NFL protocols have been much stricter this season to stop potential outbreaks. If any player contracts COVID-19 and is unvaccinated, they must wait a minimum of 10 days to retake the field.
Cooper returned to the game Thursday night when the Dallas Cowboys took on the New Orleans Saints. What was strange was his post-game comments about his bout with COVID. Cooper said he could have played with the virus as Michael Jordan played with the flu.
Is Amari Cooper right in claiming playing with COVID would be fine?
Speaking to reporters after the game last Thursday night, Cooper said:
“[Sitting out] was tough. [Michael] Jordan played with the flu. That’s how I looked at it. It was a restriction of not being able to play with what I had. It was tough, knowing that I could physically gone out there and played, but the restrictions didn’t allow me to do so.”
Amari Cooper's issue with his comments is that the COVID-19 virus is nothing to be trifled with. Even though the virus is compared to the flu by many people who have had it and conspiracy theories, it should still be taken very seriously.
Many players have fought through the flu to take the field, but COVID has already killed over 5 million people. Cooper's comments essentially claim that COVID is not dangerous enough for players to have to sit out of games. The issue is that football teams are full of players, staff, referees, and all manner of people that could be susceptible to dying from the virus.
The flu could efficiently work its way through a team and cause the team to have an outbreak that affects their ability to play the game. COVID is the same thing but is much more dangerous.
Under the NFL's new COVID-19 protocols, they will have to forfeit the game immediately if a team has an outbreak. A loss caused by a forfeit at this stage of the season would be catastrophic for those teams needing every bit of help to get into the playoffs.
Michael Jordan did play with the flu, but the flu can be taken care of a lot easier than COVID. Scientists worldwide are still trying to find ways to battle the virus. Not understanding the seriousness of COVID-19 can cause many more issues and safety concerns for many people.
Cooper should understand that every player bringing Covid into the locker room can cause a wave of cases that could spread like wildfire throughout the entire league.