Ezekiel Elliott is one of the more than 2 million Americans who’ve tested positive for coronavirus. The Cowboys running back isn’t happy you know that.
Shortly after Ezekiel’s agent, Rocky Arceneaux, confirmed to NFL Network on Monday that the running back — along with multiple unidentified players from the Cowboys and Houston Texans — contracted the virus, the 24-year-old griped on Twitter that the information should not have been made public.
“HIPAA??” wrote Elliott, in reference to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, which prohibits doctors from sharing personal medical information without that person’s consent.
Reporters, however, are not covered by the 1996 act.
Elliot indicated his frustrations were with the media, and not his agent.
“My agent only confirmed,” Elliot tweeted. “The story was already written. Reporters had been called my agent all morning.”
He added in a follow-up tweet that “my agent didn’t break the story to the media.”
Arceneaux told NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport that Elliott was feeling well.
The Cowboys, whose number of infected players is unclear, said it would not be able to disclose any information “regarding the personal health of any of our employees” due to “federal and local privacy laws.
“We are following all CDC, local and NFL guidelines to keep our facilities safe, including limiting employee access,” the team said.
Though limited staff and coaches have returned to work at the Cowboys’ training facility, players have yet to report to the site. However, Dallas County has seen a surge in positive COVID-19 cases, with its 300 new cases per day over the past week marking the area’s highest level since the pandemic started.
Elliott was criticized in April for failing to adhere to social distancing protocol and violating Dallas County’s shelter-in-place order, following the release of a video showing the running back working out with quarterback Dak Prescott and former receiver Dez Bryant, among other players.
This isn’t the first time a football star has taken aim at the media over HIPAA. Former Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul settled a lawsuit with ESPN in 2017 after reporter Adam Schefter posted private medical records on his Twitter indicating that Pierre-Paul had his right index amputated after he blew off a finger in a 2015 Fourth of July fireworks accident.
Pierre-Paul alleged Schefter “improperly obtained” the medical chart.
The terms of the agreement were confidential.
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