Assistant Football Coach Reed tweets criticism of COVID-19 precautions

Margaret Moran, Editor-in-Chief

In the last two months, Assistant Football Coach and Recruiting & Social Media Coordinator for Macalester Football Matthew Reed has taken to Twitter to denounce the precautions being taken across the country to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

On June 5, Reed tweeted: “Well… you go into Wisconsin and it’s as if life is normal, bars packed, people enjoying life. Needless to say I’m going to be spending more time there until Minnesota figures out there is nothing to be afraid of. Oh, and no masks. The way life should be.”

On June 23, Reed tweeted his praise of Tampa Bay Buccaneers Quarterback Tom Brady’s decision to hold workouts, and ignore the June 20 advisory from the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) that NFL players not hold workouts to prevent spread of COVID-19.

On July 11, Reed tweeted in reply to author Brando Starkey that the number of COVID-19 cases has been inflated, and that the total number of deaths is inaccurate.

Athletic Director Donnie Brooks commented on Reed’s statements in a statement to The Mac Weekly on Monday.

“As the leader of the Athletics department, I recognize our prospective students, current students, faculty, and staff look to us for leadership,” Brooks wrote. 

“The tweets contradict the behaviors we will expect our community to uphold in order to keep our campus safe this fall. The policies Matt referenced negatively, like mask wearing, will be an expectation when we return and part of our community contract.

“Matt and I have discussed his impact and expectations,” Brooks continued. “He understands that his comments don’t reflect the actions he will take to ensure our office, training and campus environments are as safe as they can be.”

Reed’s comments come amidst tweets from NFL players like Seattle Seahawks Quarterback Russell Wilson calling for the NFL to prioritize safety.

Macalester Athletics has not yet made a decision as to whether its fall sports will hold a regular season this upcoming semester. Brooks has said publicly that while he wants to prioritize the health and safety of the players, the NCAA’s new COVID-19 testing recommendations might make it too expensive for athletes to have a regular season. 

On July 16, the Midwest Conference announced that it will move forward with fall conference competition, but will eliminate non-conference play. Most games will begin late September.

The Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) has also gone to in-conference competition. Carleton College has already cancelled its fall sports season.

Reed declined to comment for this story.

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