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Arizona WR Jaden Mitchell details battle with COVID-19, urges people to take pandemic seriously

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Photo courtesy Arizona Athletics

The Arizona Wildcats have reported three positive COVID-19 tests since the football team began voluntary workouts in June, and we now know one of them was redshirt freshman wide receiver Jaden Mitchell, who detailed his long battle with coronavirus on Twitter.

“As someone who had COVID-19 for 3 weeks and had to quarantine for 4 weeks, this virus is no joke,” the Las Vegas native wrote. “I lost 14 pounds and am still working on gaining it back and reconditioning myself. My training staff and everyone at the University of Arizona has done a GREAT job of making us feel safe and taken care of. Even though they did everything they could, being in a room or house for 28 days had a great impact on my mental health.

“The fact of the matter is that if this virus gets a hold of you and you experience symptoms, it will have a great impact on you. There are so many possibilities in a sport where 100+ people are in a locker room, 70+ players travel, add on coaches, staff, trainers, and more and I don’t see how that will work. We are physically touching each other every single snap. On top of that we are getting paid $0 risking our health for people’s entertaining. People who have and never will step on the field. I LOVE the game more than life AND I am NOT opting out, but I do need players, coaches, fans and everyone to realize the severity of not only the pandemic, but also the injustice.”

Mitchell’s statement comes a day after a group of Pac-12 players released a list of demands that they want met or else they may opt out of the 2020 season.

Among them included COVID-19 safety measures like prohibiting liability agreements, implementing player-approved health standards enforced by a third party, and ensuring the ability to opt out without jeopardizing their scholarships. They also made more extreme demands like calling for 50 percent of conference revenue to be distributed evenly among the players.

Mitchell appeared in one game for the Wildcats in 2019 before redshirting. He was supposed to join the Wildcats in 2018, but tore his ACL in the first game of his senior season, causing him to grayshirt.