The NFL has had a team leader, Sean Payton, contract the coronavirus. Now, the league also has a spiritual leader who is fighting the disease.
LaMorris Crawford, team chaplain for the Cincinnati Bengals, has coronavirus and relayed his harrowing struggle with the disease in an interview with the Cincinnati Enquirer.
“I thought I was going to die,” Crawford told the Enquirer.
“I literally thought I was going to die. I couldn’t move,” Crawford said. “I had a loss of smell, high fever, chills, loss of taste and fatigue.”
As Pro Football Talk notes:
[Crawford] had begun feeling poorly on March 17, but thought it was fatigue from travel. It quickly got worse, and he was taken to the hospital twice before he got the diagnosis. Crawford’s still young, doesn’t smoke or drink, and keeps himself in good shape. He thinks that gave him a better chance at recovery, though he’s still mystified at so many who are willing to gather for church services.
“I think it’s socially responsible to recognize that my opinion affects other people,” Crawford said. “Hopefully it’ll kick in that it’s not just about me. Each of us hold a responsibility in the community to be wise and adhere to what the government is saying.
“It’s not about you, it’s about us, . . . We are also taught in the Bible to submit and honoring government authority. With social media and social conferencing, it would be the wise thing to still teach and preach the message, but let’s do it in a wise way to where we think about others. This virus is so sneaky that there’s no point in taking a chance of passing it, especially in a church setting.”
The NFL has taken steps to combat the spread of coronavirus. The league has put numerous restrictions in place regarding person-to-person meetings between team officials and players. The league will also hold this year’s draft in a remote, “virtual” setting to prevent infection.
President Trump has said that he is hopeful that the NFL can resume play in September, as scheduled. Falcons Owner Arthur Blank has voiced optimism about the regular season starting on time, though, likely without fans in attendance.
Follow Dylan Gwinn on Twitter @themightygwinn