Over the past few months, the debate over vaccination status has taken over the Big four professional sports news cycle and whether or not athletes should have to get vaccinated.
You have players in the NBA, NFL and MLB all coming out against the vaccine and some are missing time because they are not vaccinated.
Most notably Kyrie Irving, all-star guard for the Brooklyn Nets, is very adamant and vocal about his stance against the vaccine at the beginning of NBA training camps. Due to the vaccine requirements that are currently in place in New York City, New York, and San Francisco, California Irving among other unvaccinated players was able to participate in team activities. In New York City anyone over the age of 12 must show proof of at least one dose to enter Barclays Center, home of the Nets, Madison Square Garden, home of the Knicks, as well as any other indoor gym or fitness setting. This includes anyone a part of the Knicks or Nets organizations. In San Francisco, this rule applies the same thing to anyone a part of the Warriors organization except they need to show proof of being fully vaccinated as opposed to just one dose.
Kyrie Irving would only be able to play games for the Nets that are on the road and outside New York City if he chooses to remain unvaccinated which at this point seems likely. Just before the season started the Nets decided not to let Irving play at all on the road or practice with the team. Joseph C. Tsai, the Nets owner, said, “Obviously Kyrie has his own belief so I respect that. But we must make a team decision. This is not a decision about him. This is a decision about where we go as a team. And it is just not tenable for us to have a team with a player that comes in and out, no home games, only away games.”
Andrew Wiggins of the Golden State Warriors who once had skepticism about the vaccine, ultimately ended up getting vaccinated to avoid missing half of his season.
However, these laws only apply to members of the Knicks, Nets and Warriors and not to any members of visiting teams. Therefore, other NBA players such as Bradley Beal, Michael Porter Jr. and Jonathon Isaac, who have spoken publicly about their decision not to get vaccinated can play in New York City and San Francisco. This whole situation has led to a debate on whether pro athletes should have to be vaccinated.
“I feel like they have the same choice as everyone else,” Rostick, freshman accounting major, said. “He shouldn’t be able to play if he doesn’t follow the rules and comply with vaccine mandates set in place.”
Recently Aaron Rodgers reigning NFL MVP quarterback of the Green Bay Packers QB tested positive for COVID-19 and could potentially miss two games. According to SB Nation, the star QB had told reporters earlier in the summer he was vaccinated by saying he was immunized, but it is now being reported that he never got the vaccine.
This story led to many people saying that by being unvaccinated athletes are hurting their team by potentially exposing and spreading the virus to their teammates and coaches.
“Not getting the vaccine is a selfish, science-free decision that hurts your community and team,” Timothy Caulfield, professor of health law and science policy at the University of Alberta, tweeted on Nov. 3.