Matt Stafford’s wife has blasted the NFL after the Detroit Lion’s quarterback had a false positive COVID-19 test which she said led to her children being bullied.
The passer, 32, became the highest profile player in the league to be placed on the coronavirus reserve list (COVID-IR) on Saturday.
But yesterday he was taken off the NFL’s list and the Lions said in a statement that he was back on the ‘Active Roster’ after several negative tests following a false positive.
Matt’s distraught wife Kelly took to social media today, writing on Instagram: ‘For 24 hours, we believed my husband was positive for COVID. We were all tested the day after and we were all negative including Matthew. Then he tested negative again, then again, again, and again.’
The mother-of-four, 31, wrote: ‘Even after we knew it was false positive, our school told us they were not allowed back … I was approached in a grocery store and told I was ‘endangering others,’ my kids were harassed and kicked off a playground, I was told I needed to wait in my car when trying to pick up food, and people closest to us had to get tested just so they could go back to work.’
‘I blame the NFL for not holding themselves accountable. These are people’s lives and livelihoods that are in those results in THEIR test sites,’ Kelly wrote.
‘Maybe we should be absolutely positive a person has COVID before releasing that info to the world.’
Kelly Stafford is perhaps more health conscious than most having undergone brain surgery to have a tumour removed last year.
She and Matt have four daughters who are all under four-years-old, including a one-month-old.
Kelly concluded her message by saying that the family were all healthy and ‘feeling great.’
‘We are thankful for all those who called, texted, emailed and showed concern for Matthew and our family.’ She wrote.
The Lions said in a statement on Tuesday: ‘Today we removed Matthew Stafford from the COVID-IR list and onto the Active Roster. As a result of a False-Positive test result, he was forced due to NFL/NFLPA protocols to sit out until he received two negative tests.
‘His testing sequence for the Pre-Entry period was: negative, negative, False-Positive. The next three tests were all negative.
‘To be clear, Matthew does NOT have COVID-19 and never has had COVID-19 and the test in question was a False-Positive. Also, all of Matthew’s family have been tested and everyone is negative.’
The Detroit Lions have started workouts and team meetings as part of a training camp which Stafford can now rejoin.
Stafford had his streak of 136 straight regular-season starts snapped last season due to a back injury.
The NFL’s 2020 campaign kicks off on September 10 with enhanced measures in place to mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus, but numerous players have already chosen to opt out citing safety concerns.