Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

Joe Mixon sounds off on union’s role in COVID restrictions for unvaccinated players

NFL: OCT 04 Jaguars at Bengals

CINCINNATI, OH - OCTOBER 04: Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon (28) acknowledges the fans after the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Cincinnati Bengals on October 4, 2020, at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati, OH. (Photo by Ian Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The NFL Players Association has managed to prevent the league from mandating COVID vaccinations. The NFLPA also has secured the ability of unvaccinated players to get paid if they miss games due to a COVID infection.

That’s apparently not enough.

Bengals running back Joe Mixon has complained about the restrictions that will apply to unvaccinated players during the 2021 season.

“The NFLPA is not for the players they act like they represent us and they clearly show us different time & time again,” Mixon tweeted on Wednesday. Mixon also said “this is who y’all players want to be led by,” along with, “I thought Football was a team sport and it’s clearly being individualized by beliefs.”

It is a team sport, and if it were up to the teams all players would be required to be vaccinated. Period. At a minimum, unvaccinated players who get infected and can’t play wouldn’t get paid, if it were up to the teams.

Mixon seems to be making the personal decision to not get vaccinated, and that’s fine. But he can’t expect to enjoy the same pre-COVID freedoms that vaccinated players will realize.

The union managed to get significant relaxations in the 2020 rules and regulations for the players who get vaccinated. The players who have gotten vaccinated and will experience a normal 2021 season should be happy. Inevitably, those players will outnumber the vaccine holdouts who can either grumble about the increased restrictions or accept the fact that this is the obvious consequence of making the personal choice to not to be vaccinated.

It’s unclear what Mixon or any other unvaccinated player wants. No restrictions for anyone? Or the same restrictions for everyone? Regardless, the NFL and the NFLPA have made the right call on a subject for which universal agreement is impossible.