Deeney told CNN Sport that online people had hoped to be sick to her five-month-old baby, who was born prematurely and had difficulty breathing, while people on the street told her to “get back to work”.
“I see some comments about my son, people say: ‘I hope your son gets a corona[virus]”Deeney told CNN Sport.” That’s the hard part for me. If you respond to that, people then leave: ‘Ah, we’ve got it’ and they keep on doing it. “
The clubs voted unanimously on Wednesday to continue contact training, the second stage of the league’s ‘Return to Training protocol’, although the Premier League later announced that four players and staff from three clubs tested positive for Covid-19.
Deeney has been one of several famous players who openly questioned the possibility of a resumption and said he had personally received support for his views. However, he believes the counterattack he and his vocal player have received means that other soccer players might be afraid to discuss their concerns.
“In a time when all this involved mental health and everyone said: ‘Speak, speak, please speak,’ Danny Rose spoke up … and I spoke up and we were really hammered and beaten to the ground,” added Deeney, referring to the English defender’s comments on ‘Project Restart.’
“So people look at it and go: ‘Woah’ and not only us who get it, Miss gets a direct message and you will walk down the street and people will be like: ‘Oh, I’m working, you’re back at work.'”
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Message of support
With Watford near the bottom of the Premier League, Deeney said much of the criticism he received was the accusation of wanting the season to be canceled so that his club could avoid relegation.
However, as players from the team at the top of the league – including Manchester City forward Sergio Aguero and Chelsea’s N’Golo Kante – began to voice their concerns, Deeney felt public opinion began to change.
“Personally, I just think this shows me that the players have so much power if they all really come together,” he said. “That’s what this shows me. I have lots of messages of support from people that I don’t usually do – well, I don’t even know having my phone number to begin with.
“But of course from the players from the bigger clubs and it 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’m saying.”
Since he first spoke, many narratives have been framed as ‘Deeney vs. the Premier League’ but the striker spoke deeply about how the organization has tried to dispel his fears.
Deeney said he had now held “four or five” meetings with the Premier League – some were productive, others “hot.”
“I just thought my worries were solely for family reasons,” Deeney explained, referring to his young son. “I need more questions that are answered with a little more authority and, at first, they cannot do that, but not for any reason or desire [of trying], that’s only because they don’t have information.
“I think everyone can appreciate everything that the Premier League also wants to do. I don’t think that is a genuine neglect: ‘We will go back to work and get on a plane or [else], ‘there is nothing like that. They have very good lines of communication.
“These meetings don’t stay safe – there are some frustrating conversations. When someone says I’m at the same risk of corona virus as playing soccer or going to the supermarket, I say: ‘I never have to jump for a header while picking up cucumbers.’
“But then there is also something really good.”
Deeney said he had also spoken to Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, Deputy Chief Medical Officer of the British government, who had provided more information about statistics showing that people from minority backgrounds were affected disproportionately by Covid-19.
“He has done very, very good research and there is a lot of good intentions on his part to tell me, in the end, that I will be looked after as well as possible, and in the end, there will be some form of risk for all of us to get back to work,” said Deeney
“Kuncitara [ending] and decreasing social distance measures mean that people will always be at risk. ”
Premier League integrity ‘gone’
Watford Deeney 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 think is the second unbeaten season after Arsenal’s ‘Invincibles’.
Before the coronavirus pandemic stopped the season, Liverpool boasted 25-lead on the table and only two wins away from securing the first top-flight title for 30 years.
Regardless of what happens for the rest of this campaign, Deeney believes Jurgen Klopp’s team must be crowned champions but also sympathize with how the state of each potential title victory might be remembered.
“I believe that when it comes to integrity this season, it’s gone,” Deeney said. “I feel sorry for Liverpool because no matter what the outcome is, they deserve to win the league. They deserve a trophy.
“But no matter what the outcome is, even if we play all the matches, it will still be a year spoiled by a pandemic. It won’t be the year that Liverpool win the league to be the best team and, you know, it’s been 30 years they haven’t won.
“So I feel sorry for Liverpool and their players and Jordan [Henderson]”But in terms of integrity, there is no way you can say that this is a worthy competition,” added Deeney, referring to the Liverpool captain.
“It’s like running a marathon, 20 odd miles, stopping for two months and then running the last bit and going: ‘Ah, that’s the right time.'”
‘Thrown under the bus’
In early April, British Health Minister Matt Hancock gave an answer during the daily coronavirus briefing in which he specifically asked Premier League players to do more during the crisis.
“I think everyone needs to play their part in this national effort and that also means the Premier League players,” Hancock said.
“Considering the sacrifices made by people, including some of my colleagues at the NHS, who made the last sacrifice and started working and contracting illness and have died miserably, I think the first thing that Premier League players can do is contribute; take a salary deduction and play their role. “
Hancock’s comments played a role in the Premier League players being an antidote to criticism from the public and politicians in the midst of the initial stages of a pandemic.
This was made worse when a number of Premier League clubs chose to use the British government’s employment scheme – intended to help entrepreneurs most affected by the closure of Covid-19 – to help pay the wages of non-playing staff members placed on temporary leave.
“If you remember, we were thrown down by politicians here in England who said that football players needed to do more to give to the NHS,” Deeney said.
“We’ve talked about making a donation as a player, the conversation is already in the pipeline and it only increased because someone decided that they wanted to throw a soccer player under the bus.
“Sometimes what we feel is: ‘There is a crisis, let’s go to the soccer players.’ So it’s the NHS, it could be anything. The politician who said that we should do more was asked with the question: “Can he give up some of his money?” And he said he would work harder. So that was good to hear. “
CNN has contacted the Ministry of Health and Social Care to comment but has not yet received a response.
“At that time, it was still very early towards a pandemic, we all watched the news, trying to learn about what really happened today,” Deeney added. “Most of us [players] watch it and then you look at it and you’re like: ‘Where does it come from?’ “
Less than a week after Hancock’s comments, the Premier League soccer players announced a collective initiative called ‘PlayersTogether’ which would donate funds to the NHS charity during the pandemic.
“And for the players, even if we go out and say: ‘We all donated X amount of money,’ that is still not enough,” Deeney said.