Watford captain Troy Deeney has spoken out about the abuse he has received for not attending training sessions because of his concerns regarding the coronavirus pandemic. The Hornets number nine is believed to be considering a return to the training ground, after shareholders voted unanimously in favour of a return to contact training at a vote on Wednesday morning. However, Deeney’s reluctance to initially return for individual training from last week, due to his concerns about the way the coronavirus disproportionately affects BAME people and his son’s health, have put him on the receiving end of a barrage of abuse.
Troy Deeney said “I saw some comments in regards to my son, people saying: ‘I hope your son gets corona[virus], that’s the hard part for me. If you respond to that, people then go: ‘Ah, we’ve got him’ and they keep doing it. In a time where it’s all about mental health and everyone says: ‘Speak up, speak out, please speak,’ Danny Rose spoke out … and I spoke out and we just get absolutely hammered and battered for it. So people see that and go: ‘Woah’ and it’s not just us that gets it, the missus gets direct messages and you’ll be walking down the street and people will be like: ‘Oh, I’m at work, you go back to work.’ Personally, I just think this is showing me that the players have so much power if they actually all came together,” he said. “That’s what this is showing me. I’ve had a lot of messages of support from people that I wouldn’t normally – well, that I didn’t even know had my number for a start. But certainly from players from bigger clubs and that shows me that I must be doing something right because I’m just a little old Troy from Watford and everyone seems to listen to what I say.”
Deeney also spoke about the questions he raised to the Premier League and the frustration of getting them answered
Troy Deeney said “I just think my concerns were purely for family reasons,” explains Deeney, referring to his young son, who was born with breathing difficulties. “I needed more questions answered with a bit more authority and, at the start, they couldn’t really do that, but not for any reason or want [of trying], it was just because they didn’t have the information. I think everyone can appreciate everything what the Premier League is trying to do as well. I don’t think it’s a pure neglect of: ‘We’re going back to work and get on board or [else],’ it’s nothing like that. They have very good lines of communication. These meetings don’t stay too safe — there’s some frustrating conversations. When somebody said I’m at the same risk of getting coronavirus by playing football or going to the supermarket, I said: ‘I’ve never had to jump for a header while picking up a cucumber.’ But then there’s also been some really good ones as well.”
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