Deeney told CNN Sport that people online wished badly for his five-month-old baby, who was born prematurely and had breathing difficulties, while people on the street told him to “go back to work.”
“I saw some comments about my son, people said, ‘I hope your son gets the crown[virus], “” Deeney told CNN Sport. “This is the difficult part for me. If you answer this, people say,” Ah, we got it “and they keep doing it.”
The clubs voted unanimously on Wednesday to resume contact training, phase two of the league’s “Return to training” protocol, although the Premier League later announced that four players and three-club staff tested positive for Covid. -19.
Deeney was one of several high-profile actors who publicly questioned a possible recovery and claims to have privately received support for his views. However, he believes that the backlash that he and other outspoken players have received means that other players are afraid to talk about their concerns.
“At a time when it comes to mental health and everyone says, ‘Speak, speak, please speak,’ Danny Rose spoke … and I spoke and we were absolutely hammered and mistreated for it,” adds Deeney , referring to the comments of the England defender on “Restarting the project”.
“So people see it and go:” Woah “and it’s not just us who understand it, the lady receives direct messages and you will walk on the street and people will be like: ‘Oh, I’m at work, you go back to work.'”
With Watford precariously placed at the bottom of the Premier League, Deeney says that many of the criticisms he received were accusations of wanting to cancel the season so that his club could avoid relegation.
However, once players from the top teams – including Manchester City forward Sergio Aguero and Chelsea N’Golo Kante – started to express their concerns, Deeney felt that public opinion started to change.
“Personally, I just think this is showing me that players have so much power if they all actually joined,” he says. “This is what he is showing me. I have received many support messages from people I normally wouldn’t have – well, I didn’t even know I had my number to start with.
“But certainly from older club players and this shows me that I have to do something right because I’m just an old Troy from Watford and everyone seems to listen to what I say.”
Ever since he spoke for the first time, much of the narrative has been referred to as “Deeney versus the Premier League”, but the attacker talks a lot about how the organization tried to calm his fears.
Deeney says he has now had “four or five” matches with the Premier League – some productive, some “on.”
“I just think my concerns were purely for family reasons,” explains Deeney, referring to her young son. “I needed more answers to the questions with a little more authority and, at the beginning, they really couldn’t do it, but not for any reason or desire [of trying], it was only because they didn’t have the information.
“I think everyone can appreciate everything that even the Premier League is trying to do. I don’t think it is a pure neglect of: ‘We will go back to work and get on board or [else], “is nothing of the sort. They have excellent lines of communication.
“These encounters are not too sure – there are some frustrating conversations. When someone said that they are at the same risk of getting coronavirus by playing football or going to the supermarket, I said: ‘I never had to jump for a header while collecting a cucumber. “
“But then there were some really good ones too.”
Deeney says he also spoke with Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, deputy medical director of the UK government, who provided more information on statistics showing that people belonging to minorities are disproportionately affected by Covid-19.
“He is doing very, very good research and there is a lot of good will on his part to tell me, in the end, that I will take care of the best they can and, in the end, there will be some form of risk for all of us who return to work. “says Deeney.
“Confinement [ending] and the social withdrawal measures that come down means that people will always have risks. ”
Premier League integrity “already gone”
Deeney Watford is the only team to beat Liverpool in the Premier League this season, winning 3-0 at the end of February to end what many thought would only be the second unbeaten season after Arsenal’s “Invincibles”.
Before the coronavirus pandemic brought the season to an end, Liverpool boasted an insurmountable 25-lead at the table and was only two wins away from gaining a first top flight title for 30 years.
Regardless of what happens for the rest of this campaign, Deeney believes Jurgen Klopp’s team should be crowned champion, but also rejoices at how the circumstances of each potential title win are likely to be remembered.
“I think when it comes to the integrity of this season, it’s already gone,” says Deeney. “I feel sorry for Liverpool because, regardless of how it unfolds, they deserve to win the championship. They deserve to get the trophy.
“But no matter how it ends, even if we play all the matches, it will still be the year spoiled by the pandemic. It won’t be that year that Liverpool will win the championship being the best team and, you know, it’s 30 years that I haven’t win.
“So I’m sorry for Liverpool, their players and Jordan [Henderson]but in terms of integrity, there is no way of saying that this is a viable competition, “added Deeney, referring to the Liverpool captain.
“It’s like running a marathon, 20 odd miles, stopping for two months and then sprinting the last bit and going: ‘Ah, it was a good time.'”
‘Thrown under the bus’
In early April, British health secretary Matt Hancock gave a response during the daily coronavirus briefing where he specifically invited Premier League players to do more during the crisis.
“I think everyone should play their part in this national effort and that also means Premier League players,” said Hancock.
“Given the sacrifices that people are making, including some of my SSN colleagues, who made the maximum sacrifice and went to work and took the disease and unfortunately died, I think the first thing that Premier footballers League they can do is make a contribution; take a salary and do their part. “
Hancock’s comments played a role in Premier League players becoming a lightning rod for criticism from both the public and politicians in the early stages of the pandemic.
This was exacerbated when a number of Premier League clubs opted to use the UK government work program – intended to help those employers most severely affected by Covid-19’s closure – to help pay the wages of non-gambling staff members placed on temporary leave.
“If you remember, we were thrown under the bus by the politician here in the UK who said football players need to do more to give SSN,” says Deeney.
“We were already talking about making a donation as players, those conversations were already in the pipeline and it only intensified because of someone who decided he wanted to throw the players under the bus.
“Sometimes we hear it is: ‘There is a crisis, let’s go to the players.” So it’s the SSN, it could be anything. The politician who said we should do more asked the question: “Could you give up some of your money?” And he said he will work harder. So it was nice to hear it. “
CNN has contacted the Department of Health and Social Assistance for comment, but has not yet received a response.
“At that time, it was very early in the pandemic, we were all watching the news, trying to find out what was really going on today,” added Deeney. “Many of us [players] you look at it and then you see it and you’re like: ‘Where does it come from?’ “
Less than a week after Hancock’s comments, Premier League footballers announced a collective initiative called “PlayersTogether” that would donate funds to NHS charities during the pandemic.
“And for the players, even if we came out and said, ‘We all donated X amount of money,’ it still wouldn’t be enough,” said Deeney.
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