Last updated 1 month ago | By Mirror
Danny Rose refuses to sugar-coat it, as ever.
Why should he when so many players across the Premier League still have concerns about the risks posed by the coronavirus?
Why should he when, as a black man, he is twice as likely to suffer at the hands of the virus as a white person.
Pats on the back and the lift to the nation’s morale matter little if, inadvertently, you end up passing the virus on to a family member.
Rose’s description of top flight stars as ‘lab rats’ as the game takes it’s first steps back towards restarting may well stick in the craw for some critics.
Yet players, told to speak to the people in charge of their safety instead of jumping on podcasts and Instagram live, claim they were unable to get answers to “basic” concerns put to the Premier League in last week’s captain’s call.
So it is little wonder that, despite the intention to test them rigorously, men like Rose are still apprehensive.
“For stuff like that I think is it worth the hassle?,” said the Newcastle left-back, on loan from Spurs.
“I could be potentially risking my health for people’s entertainment and that’s not something I want to be involved in if I’m honest.”
Therein lies the question – is your entertainment worth more than a player’s state of mind?
It might well be true that the six people from three clubs that test positive out of 748 players and staff tested represent less than one percent.
You aren’t the one expected to engage in physical contact for 90-plus minutes during a pandemic. They are.
So yes, players are entitled to voice their fears.
As the conversation continues around mental health, we parrot the mantra that it’s good to talk yet tut-tut when the words are not what we want to hear.
Rose is just the latest in a number of players to have to have admitted they feel unsafe too. From Manchester City to West Ham to Brighton to Arsenal.
After he first gave his views last week, however, he was ticked off by boss Steve Bruce.
The 29-year-old told The Lockdown Podcast: “I was having my breakfast the next day and then I saw Steve Bruce coming up on my phone. So I was like ‘oh no!’.
“I let it ring for about 30 seconds and then I thought ‘I’d better answer this’. So I went in another room and I spoke to him and he said I just need to word things a bit better if I’m going to do things like that.
“He explained the measures that they’re going to do to make things safe. Obviously I’ve seen the headlines and we, as footballers and people in the public, we have a platform.”
There is no easy way, however, for players to admit they are scared.
Or that the money is no substitute for the long-term health of their families.
Watford’s Troy Deeney insisted as much last Thursday. He had been one of the 20 Premier League captains in a meeting with the Premier League and medical experts.