NFLPA's DeMaurice Smith: Tom Brady's workouts go against player safety

Justin Leger
NBC Sports Boston

Tom Brady has been scrutinized recently for holding private workouts with his Tampa Bay Buccaneers teammates in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The NFL Players Association advised players to avoid practicing with teammates to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Not to mention, cases of the virus have skyrocketed in Florida over the last couple of weeks.

But those circumstances haven't kept Brady from working out with fellow Bucs players and posting all about it on social media.

Download the MyTeams app for the latest Patriots news and analysis

The actions of Brady and other players who continue to practice during the pandemic aren't sitting well with NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith. In an interview with USA TODAY, Smith said Brady isn't acting "in the best interest of player safety." 

"They're not in the best interest of protecting our players heading into training camp, and I don't think they are in the best interest of us getting through an entire season," Smith said.

"I certainly understand how competitive our players are, and I get that. But at the same time, we are in the process of trying to negotiate, we have to negotiate with the league about what happens to a player if they test positive during the season. Does that player go on injured reserve? Do they go on short-term IR? If you test positive for the virus after training camp, is that a work-related injury? Are you covered under workers' comp? What benefits are available to you if you have downstream injuries from contracting COVID-19?

"All of the things that players may want to do during the offseason have a direct impact on how well we can negotiate protections for them once the season starts. We sent out the guidance because we think that was in their best health and safety interests. Let's just say for some of the players who have practiced, we've made sure that they've heard the message."

Watch below:

Players on several NFL teams, including the Buccaneers, have tested positive for COVID-19 in recent weeks. We can expect those numbers to rise, especially if players continue to defy the NFLPA's guidelines.

As of now, the NFL is approaching the 2020 season with a "business as usual" mindset. Training camps still are on track to begin on time next month, and the regular season is scheduled to begin Sept. 10.

NFLPA's DeMaurice Smith: Tom Brady's workouts go against player safety originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

What to Read Next