Darren Bent defended Troy Deeney and Danny Rose and said he would not return to training if he was put in their situation.
The former Charlton and Tottenham striker revealed he would have had reservations even before six positive coronavirus tests were revealed from the Premier League’s first round of testing.
Watford captain Deeney has revealed he will be staying at home over concerns of spreading coronavirus to his family, including his newly born son who has experienced breathing difficulties, as well unanswered issues around BAME players.
Rose also voiced concerns about returning to football saying players are being treated like ‘guinea pigs and lab rats’.
When asked if he would have gone back, Bent told talkSPORT: “Probably not, because I’ve obviously got young children at home. So for me, I probably wouldn’t. I would have reservations before what came out yesterday [about players contracting coronavirus] that I wouldn’t have come back after they talked about the risk to black players or ethnicity players. That would have been kind of a red flag.
“To say ‘you know what, I’m not going back until I get more answers’. As I said, Troy Deeney was brilliant. He asked simple questions about their extra screenings and extra testing and was told categorically. So until that situation is cleared up. I don’t think I’d go back.”
There has been questions over whether players should take a pay cut if they refuse to return to training.
Simon Jordan argued players should not be getting their full salary if they make a choice not to return.
If Bent was in that situation, he said he would have accepted a pay cut but says players should be allowed to voice their opinion.
LATEST FOOTBALL NEWS
Aurier in apparent third lockdown breach, Mariappa reveals positive COVID test
battle for Berlin
Hertha vs Union live on talkSPORT: Full commentary from Bundesliga derby
Adrian Mariappa confirms he has coronavirus but has no idea how he caught it
Simon Jordan in brutal attack on ‘gutter reporting’ of Dele Alli's robbery ordeal
When will the Premier League summer transfer window open? Details about 2020 spending
Bundesliga table, form guide, fixtures and top scorers ahead of this weekend’s games
Salah mask-wearing robbers arrested by Egyptian police
Liverpool transfer news: Klopp phoning Werner, Soyuncu eyed, £70m Wolves raid?
He added: “If it came to me and they said ‘listen, you’re not gonna come back, well you’re gonna have to take a pay cut’, then that’s fair enough, because my family’s health comes before anything.
“So they say pay cut 50 per cent, whatever it is, I would say yeah, fair enough. People are gonna say ‘that’s OK for you, because financially they’re okay’.
“And Danny Rose alluded to that again in his interview. Because people are going to say, ‘yeah well he earns that kind of money that he should be back’.
“Well, that’s where I completely have to push back because just because he earns a certain amount of money, it doesn’t mean he can’t have an opinion on whether he wants to go back or not. That’s not how it works.”
Bent also defended Danny Rose’s standpoint of not wanting to go back and he is right to raise concerns about the risks involved.
He added: “He’s made one statement there that is so true. He’s risking his health for people’s entertainment. There’s obviously that stat that came out yesterday about black players being at higher risk.
“I fully understand from that aspect alone that if you are at higher risk and you are putting yourself out there for people’s entertainment and he’s not prepared to do that from that point of view I can fully understand where he’s coming from.
“As I’ve said before with Danny, if ever you need an honest or open opinion on something you go to Danny Rose. He won’t filter it or give you that scripted or generic answer that’s ‘if it’s safe to do so we’ll come back’ or anything like that. He will tell you exactly how he’s feeling.
“Why are we criticising him, obviously the way he delivered his message was wrong, but way are we hammering him because he doesn’t want to risk his health for people’s entertainment. There’s got to be some kind of giving and taking here.
“You can’t just hammer him because he doesn’t want to go out there. We’ve also got to take into account that he doesn’t want to risk his health.
“They are talking about being four times at higher risk as black players, why shouldn’t we give them the opportunity to say I’m not going to go back.”