Two of America’s most popular athletes face a tsunami of reaction over “embarrassing” comments about the Covid-19 vaccine.
Perhaps these basketball players should let the professionals provide health advice.
Golden State Warriors star Draymond Green and NBA legend LeBron James have come under fire for “embarrassing” comments about the Covid-19 vaccine.
Green told media on Thursday that he would not force Golden State teammate Andrew Wiggins to get vaccinated. Last month, the NBA rejected Wiggins’ request for an exemption from the vaccine on religious grounds.
Watch live coverage of the 21/22 NBA season with ESPN on Kayo. New to Kayo? Start your free trial >
According to various reports, about 95 percent of NBA players have already received their first jab.
In a bizarre diatribe, Green compared the Covid-19 vaccine to a hypothetical one involving Wiggins’ wife giving birth and the polio vaccine.
The 31-year-old claimed that pressuring people to get the Covid-19 shot “goes against everything America stands for”.
He also said a “political war” is brewing between those who have been vaccinated and those who have not.
“That would be like Andrew – who everyone knows she recently had a baby, maybe five months ago – that would be like I’m telling him, ‘Yo, your wife is going to give birth. How dare you leave this team and not take care of your wife?’” said Green.
“That’s something that’s personal to him. That’s something to do with health. That is something that is personal to his family. This is no different.
“We’re dealing with something that feels to me like it’s turned into a political war when you talk about vaccinated (people) and unvaccinated (people). I think it has become very political.
“And for someone who’s not that into politics, if you make something so political and not everyone likes politics, then you can kick those people off too.
“You say we live in the land of the freedom – well, you don’t give freedom to anyone because you let people do something essential without forcing them, you let them do something. And that goes against everything America stands for, supposedly stands for.
“I’m not in a position to tell him what he should or shouldn’t do… No, you do what you feel.
“I’m not going to ask him if he’s had a polio vaccine? So why would I go and ask him if he has had a Covid vaccine?”
Green seems oblivious to the fact that he has no reason to ask Wiggins about polio, as a vaccine has eradicated the disease from most of the world.
“I think there is something to be said for people’s concerns about something that is being pushed so hard,” Green added.
“Like, why are you pressing this so hard? You pressing and pressing and pressing.”
The reason politicians are “urging” Americans to get vaccinated is likely that there have been more than 680,000 Covid-19-related deaths in the United States.
According to new information from the White House, those who are not fully vaccinated are 57 times more likely to die from Covid-19.
James shared a clip of Green’s odd rant on Twitter, captioning the post: “Couldn’t have said it better.”
Inevitably, Green and James faced a tsunami of backlash for spreading skepticism and amplifying disinformation campaigns that have expanded the Covid-19 pandemic.