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Jeff Van Gundy on players’ anti-vaccination stance "Sometimes common sense is in short supply"

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Jeff Van Gundy revealed his opinions on players who are hesitating to get the COVID vaccine. For him, it was not hard to figure out why there was a need to get vaccinated.

On common sense

A lot of players are still not getting the vaccine, despite some city policies requiring it. For head coach turned ESPN analyst, it’s pretty straightforward why the matter is considered urgent. As with many, the “doing my own research part” got Jeff Van Gundy going.

“It’s just like, sometimes, I just don’t think we’re respecting all that is being invested into this fight. And again, I’m not trying to be super political. I didn’t think that would be controversial. I just think it’s common sense. Sometimes common sense is in short supply. That one thing sets me off more than anything when it comes to people trying to rationalize not taking a shot. I know there’s people that work at ESPN that would vehemently disagree with me. I read some things that Sage Steele said and I was taken aback. I really was. So it’s not like I think everybody’s agreeing with me. But on that one, I just thought it was somewhat obvious, in that small segment of doing your own research, I just don’t get it.”

Jeff Van Gundy, The Athletic

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The former Houston Rockets coach joined several NBA personalities who have been campaigning for the players to get the vaccine and criticizing those who have yet to receive a jab. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Shaquille O’Neal, Brooklyn Nets owner Jo Tsai, and Commissioner Adam Silver have all made their stance clear: the vaccine is effective, saves lives, and players should get it to minimize the risks moving forward. 

Should coaches and analysts put pressure on players to get vaccinated?

Getting the vaccines should not be mandated for everyone, but there are reasons to strongly suggest it. If the players are not that concerned about the virus because they have the money to get the best health care, other people around them don’t get the same privileges. For their sake and the people around them, players should be encouraged to get the vaccines so their team can get their focus back on track and have peace of mind knowing the people in the locker room will have the same privileges and mobility. 

Coaches and players, past or present, have the platform to advocate for the vaccines. They need to use their voice to reach out and spread the message, especially to those who are still hesitating to get jabbed. The NBA is a big family where people need to look out for each other, reminding and advising what’s best. As many have pointed out, it’s not just a personal choice - it’s a public health and safety issue.

The key issue is to discuss the topic in an open dialogue, where both sides listen to what the other side is saying. The only way to reach a consensus and win this battle is if everyone is rowing in the same direction - yelling at each other won’t do the trick.

The opinions expressed within this article are solely the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and beliefs of the website.

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