If unvaccinated NBA players needed inspiration to get their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, they should look to Republican Senator from Texas Ted Cruz, who endorsed their decision to hang in there.
Kyrie Irving, Bradley Beal and Andrew Wiggins top the list of the 10% of NBA players who have yet to be vaccinated for reasons they have struggled (or refused) to explain. Cruz, himself vaccinated, supported their decision in a tweet on Wednesday:
âI’m with Kyrie Irving. I’m with Andrew Wiggins. I’m with Bradley Beal. I’m with Jonathan Isaac, âthe senator wrote with the hashtag #YourBodyYourChoice.
Cruz is an ardent opponent of the right to abortion; #YourBodyYourChoice only works when it suits their story. He has been relatively silent about the Texas abortion bill, which eventually passed and denied women in his state the right to have an abortion after six weeks of pregnancy.
This should be a reality check, both for the NBA and its unvaxed people. The NBA’s 90% vaccination rate is lower than the NFL‘s 93.5% rate, and the NBA is said to be the most progressive league. Could have cheated on me.
Much like a small pocket of NBA players have mistakenly thought that holding a potentially life-saving vaccine makes them strong or smart. It actually does just the opposite.
Dallas Mavericks reserve guard Trey Burke, for example, said he didn’t get the shot because he needed to do more research, as if the vaccine hadn’t been fully approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for over a month. NBA fans, however, can live without Burke on the field for home games.
The crÃ¨me de la crÃ¨me of players presents a much more delicate situation.
Irving, for example, is one of the most electrifying players in all of basketball. If he can’t find a way to comply with New York City’s immunization requirements, he’ll be forced to miss every home game at Barclays Center, where fans pay big bucks for seats – not to mention Joe Tsai pays a lot of money for his performance. (Tsai, at least, will get his money back.)
These requirements vary from city to city: Beal would not be required to be vaccinated because such a mandate does not exist in Washington.
Maybe a swap from Irving to Ben Simmons makes more sense today than it did a week ago. Even if Simmons, thought to be vaccinated, doesn’t want to shoot 3s or make open layups, at least he would be available to play.
The same can’t be said for a small but strong contingent of NBA players, who just received public support from a source they never dreamed of. These dreams can quickly turn into nightmares, especially if they leave millions of dollars on the table, due to a vaccine that could very well save not only their lives, but the lives of their teammates and loved ones.
Copyright 2021 Tribune Content Agency.