Tre'Davious White Rips 'Selfish' Fans Amid Backlash About Possibly Sitting Out

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistAugust 6, 2020

Buffalo Bills cornerback Tre'Davious White (27) lines up against the Houston Texans during the second half of an NFL wild-card playoff football game Saturday, Jan. 4, 2020, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)
Eric Christian Smith/Associated Press

Buffalo Bills cornerback Tre'Davious White called out "selfish" fans for their criticism as he considers whether to play in 2020 over COVID-19 concerns:

The deadline for players opting out of the 2020 season is Thursday at 4 p.m ET. 

Players who have an underlying health condition that puts them at greater risk of death from COVID-19 (e.g. cancer, compromised immune system, etc.) will be paid a $350,000 salary that they do not have to return. Players who do not have an underlying health condition, considered voluntary opt-outs, are given a $150,000 stipend that they must pay back. It's a negotiated salary advance that will come out of their checks next season.

White's personal experience aside, sitting out is a beyond-justifiable decision for any player who does not want to risk his safety.

The COVID-19 pandemic has killed over 150,000 people and infected more than four million others in the U.S. The long-term ramifications of the disease are unknown, and White House COVID-19 advisor Anthony Fauci told CNN the country's outbreak is the worst of any country in the world.

The NFL's current plan for the 2020 season most closely resembles Major League Baseball's strategy. And MLB has already had multiple outbreaks, causing game postponements, two weeks into its season. Baseball is not a contact sport. Football players, by nature, make heavy contact and breathe onto each other every play. There is no major U.S. sport at greater risk of significant contamination.

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If White chooses to sit out, the Bills' chances of unseating the New England Patriots in the AFC East will take a hit. He was one of the NFL's best cornerbacks last season, earning All-Pro and Pro Bowl honors while tying for the NFL lead with six interceptions.