Ex-Derby player Marc Edworthy has leaped to the defence of Wayne Rooney after the Rams skipper's comments regarding COVID-19..
Manchester United legend and current Derby captain Wayne Rooney has stirred debate after he claimed players were treated like guinea pigs after being told to play regardless of the potential threat of contracting coronavirus.
Writing for his column in the Sunday Times, Rooney claimed that lives were put at risk before the Premier League and EFL eventually made the decision to suspend all action until the first weekend of April at the earliest.
The comments have led some to criticise Rooney for his sentiment, with some claiming footballers are not a high-risk community in comparison to other professions and Rooney's comments perhaps adhered to the stereotype some players are out of touch with how people outside the footballing bubble feel.
However, ex-Derby defender Marc Edworthy claimed that Rooney was simply acting as a voice for other players, and using his stature within the game as a cause for good.
READ ALL THE LATEST TRANSFER RUMOURS HERE ON LOVE SPORT
Edworthy told Love Sport Breakfast: "I think what he's done, I think other players probably would have been thinking about saying this but coming from Wayne Rooney and there's no disrespect to any other players, of course, but he's a real voice isn't he? And he makes a statement. I think when you make any sort of statement when it's on the field, it gets publicised and magnified hugely.
"I think he just spoke, you know, as we said, he's a family man, he's got four children. He's worried about the safety and the concern and health of his family. And I think that's why he's put that message out there and it's a clear one."
The former Ram did go on to discuss how playing behind closed doors may be the only way forward when the season does eventually resume.
"I think if we extend the season and providing the players are fit and healthy, can we go back to playing behind closed doors? Then course you're going to probably have loads of people phoning in saying, well, there's no good playing without the support as well. If we're talking about we're now going to stop the gatherings of no more than 500 people then you can't have people come to watch the game.
"I think hopefully delay the season, then when everybody's fit and well, play behind closed doors; that will then conclude the season, promotion, relegation etc.
"It's a minefield guys isn't it? Behind closed doors is the only way because this disease or this virus, they [experts] reckon it's going to get worse before it gets better."
LISTEN TO LOVE SPORT RADIO - THE UK STATION GIVING FANS A VOICE!