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Andrew Bogut's COVID rant “I’m enemy number one”


Andrew Bogut dished out some controversial opinions about COVID and how Australia is handling the pandemic. This was not the first time Bogut, a former national team player, and former Golden State Warriors center, has made his opinion on conspiracies public. 

Bogut on Australia COVID response

What triggered the online rant was the perceived mishandling of the pandemic by the federal and state government. Bogut revealed he was approached last year to appear in a campaign asking people to stay at home for money, but he refused. 

“Athletes that are on contract in our biggest leagues in Australia, AFL, NRL have been told not to make anti-lockdown, anti-government statements on social media, period. ... I don’t need to rely on anyone for my money. I’ll be fine, I’ll be OK. So I’m enemy number one, because I’m not on anyone’s teat. They can’t shut me up”

Andrew Bogut, Fox Sports

It’s unclear why Bogut was alarmed about the fact he was approached to promote people staying home as a measure to curb the rising cases of COVID in his country. The basic premise of influencer marketing is for people with public recognition to promote products or ideas. The fact he was approached does not indicate a conspiracy - all these campaigns financed with public funds are transparent.

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When it comes to employers telling employees not to put their business model in jeopardy, that's a practice as old as time - that's a criticism of capitalism, not the pandemic.

Not the first time he talked about conspiracy theories

In 2016, the 36-year-old described photos that were part of the Pizzagate scandal as perfectly normal. Saying these comments was detrimental to Bogut's reputation since the Pizzagate scandal was anchored on fake news. In a way, knowingly, Bogut supported the spread of fake news, which has let down some of his supporters. 

Basketball players, like ordinary humans, can voice their opinions on different matters. But, as public figures, they are responsible for sticking only to the facts and verifiable information. Players like Kyrie Irving have drawn flak before for saying that he believes the earth is flat, without any substantial arguments for the claim. 

Fans are hoping Andrew Bogut can provide a detailed explanation of his views and why he does not support the lockdowns. Putting controversial comments on social media means giving people the chance to save them, take a screenshot, or record and use it against you in the future. 

LeBron James proudly claimed the NBA players are more than just basketball players. Bogut, who maintains a massive following even after retiring, should be more careful in giving opinions and using his platform to spread misinformation. 

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