Like every other public figure in America, NBA players are being questioned by the mainstream media as to their personal opinions on whether or not to get the coronavirus vaccine.
While opinions in the sports world vary just like they do everywhere else, refreshing answers recently given by two players who were asked about the vaccine and possible future actions taken by the NBA against unvaccinated players, in my view, provide the necessary template going forward for anyone who gets put on the spot as to where they stand on vaccinations.
First up was Orlando Magic basketball star Jonathan Isaac, 23, who was asked by one reporter why he was declining to get the vaccine, a question that came after he was featured in a September Rolling Stone piece on so-called “anti-vaxxers,” a story he said “badly misrepresented” his opinion. He gave a lengthy answer, some of which I will quote below:
“I would start with I’ve had COVID in the past and so our understanding of antibodies, of natural immunity has changed a great deal from the onset of the pandemic and is still evolving. I understand that the vaccine would help if you catch COVID, you’ll be able to have less symptoms from contracting it. But with me having COVID in the past and having antibodies, with my current age group and physical fitness level, it’s not necessarily a fear of mine.”
“Taking the vaccine, like I said, it would decrease my chances of having a severe reaction, but it does open me up to the albeit rare chance but the possibility of having an adverse reaction to the vaccine itself. I don’t believe that being unvaccinated means infected or being vaccinated means uninfected. You can still catch COVID with or with not having the vaccine. I would say honestly that the craziness of it all in terms of not being able to say that it should be everybody’s fair choice without being demeaned or talked crazy to doesn’t make one comfortable to do what said person is telling them to do.”
“I would that’s a couple of reasons I would say I’m hesitant at this time but at the end of the day I don’t feel that it is anyone’s reason to come out and say well this is why or this is not why, it should just be their decision. Loving your neighbor is not just loving those who agree with you or look like you or move in the same way that you do. It’s, you know, loving those who don’t.”
NBA player Jonathan Isaac explains that he’s had COVID in the past and has developed natural immunity: “I don’t believe being unvaccinated means infected….It should be everybody’s fair choice without being demeaned.” pic.twitter.com/qLSRZqUGbY
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) September 28, 2021
He also stated during the presser that he was not “anti-vax, I’m not anti-medicine, I am not anti-science,” noting he respected healthcare workers and that his mother had worked in the healthcare industry for a “really long time.”
“But with that being said,” Isaac told reporters, “it is my belief that the vaccine status of every person should be their own choice.” Watch:
Jonathan Isaac shares his full thoughts on vaccinations and addresses the Rolling Stone article.
“I’m not anti-vax. I’m not anti-medicine. I’m not anti-science. I didn’t come to my current vaccination status by studying black history or watching Donald Trump press conferences.” pic.twitter.com/EvT4KwGJwx
— Beyond the RK (@beyondtheRK) September 27, 2021
I should note that Isaac also gained a lot of national media attention last summer after he stood during the national anthem as his fellow players kneeled. One self-described “reporter” actually had the gall to ask Isaac after the game if he “believes black lives matter.”
Washington Wizards player Bradley Beal, 28, made similar remarks Monday about the vaccine, pointing out that he also had had COVID at one point, saying he believed it should be an individual’s choice on whether or not to get the vaccine:
“I don’t feel pressure [to get vaccinated],” Beal said on Monday. “I don’t think you can pressure anybody into making a decision about their body or what they put into their body. We can have this discussion about a lot of different topics besides vaccines, too. You can’t necessarily force anybody, or kind of say, it’s time for a vaccine. I think you kind of let people come into their own about it. If they do their research, when they feel comfortable, they do it.”
Later, Beal brought up questions raised by others about how people who have gotten fully vaccinated can still get COVID and still spread it:
“I would like an explanation to people with vaccines, why are they still getting COVID?” Beal asked. “If that is something that [vaccinated individuals] are supposed be highly protected from, like it’s funny that it only reduces your chances of going to the hospital. Doesn’t eliminate anybody from getting COVID. Right?”
“… So you can still get COVID,” Beal added. “And you can still pass it along with the [vaccination] right? I am just asking the question.”
Bradley Beal: “I would like an explanation to you know, people with vaccines, why are they still getting COVID? … Like, it’s funny that, ‘oh, it reduces your chances of going to the hospital.’ It doesn’t eliminate anybody from getting COVID, right?” pic.twitter.com/XMLu5AsL4C
— Hoop District (@Hoop_District) September 27, 2021
My personal choice was to get the vaccine, as was the case for every member of my family. Mom, dad, and I all came down with the Wuhan virus in August 2020 but still chose to get vaccinated to be on the safe side, since they’re at high risk for a serious case due to age and pre-existing conditions — and my dad has to be around healthcare workers and other senior citizens three times a week for care.
I’ve made it a point not to give my opinion on the vaccine one way or the other, unless someone asks me about it, because like these two guys, I believe it should be a personal choice. I’m not “anti-vax” but rather “pro-choice,” when it comes to these matters.
That said, we are living in some interesting times, for sure, when professional sports players are making more sense and sounding more pro-individual freedom on medical decisions than the so-called “medical experts” in the media and on the left.