Player availability is always the most important topic as training camps start. It usually involves asking about ACLs and hamstrings, but this year the one question every player had to answer was the one about their vaccination status. As we know, Andrew Wiggins made it clear he doesn't want to get vaccinated, and Kyrie Irving's status is also unclear (we can probably guess why,) so along with their status, all players were asked to share their thoughts about Wiggins' stand.
Almost everyone gave an answer that can be boiled down to "I did it to protect people around me." Players recognized that while they may not be in one of the risk groups, getting vaccinated helps end the pandemic and protect those more vulnerable. Those that don't want to get the vaccine, on the other hand, are not as forthcoming about their reasons not to.
While I respect the right of every person to decide if they want to get vaccinated or not, I think people with large platforms have a responsibility to explain their reasons. It can be religion, a previous health condition, or something else - at least give some explanation to fans and your community as to why you are making your choice.
The most annoying thing people can say when explaining not getting the vaccine is that they will "do their own research." Which, of course, they don't. Niki Minaj tweets, Tik Tok videos, and random Facebook posts don't qualify as research. I sincerely doubt it Beal was reading medical journals and taking a crash course in virology and epidemiology. That's why Robin Lopez won the day with this not-so-subtle jab at people who are denying basic scientific facts.
While passing each other in a hallway, Nemanja Bijelica told Wiggins to "Get the shot," to which he replied with "Tough crowd in there, man." Obviously, the former no.1 pick is getting pressure from all sides but remains adamant in his decision. Wiggins says his "back is definitely against the wall," but he will keep fighting for what he believes is correct regarding the COVID-19 vaccine. The problem is he never explained what his belief is. Wiggins was asked multiple times to elaborate his decision and responded by saying it was "none of [the media's] business."
As long as he's unvaccinated, Wiggins can't play in any home games. The only good news they got is that for now, unvaccinated players can still play in Toronto (as analyzed by Jonathan Concool from Basketball News.) While I don't agree with his decision or his lack of transparency about it, at least Wiggins isn't spreading idiotic concepts and proving he doesn't have the first idea of what he's talking about. That can't be said about Bradley Beal, who reportedly had this to say.
I get it if people were skeptical while there was little time to understand what a coronavirus is, how it works and how we can fight it. But everyone with an elementary school education had more than enough time to read up on COVID and how the vaccines work. Dammit, we're at a point where Family Guy put out a short episode explaining how the vaccines work - you don't even have to read!!! Everyone with a platform has a responsibility not to say dumb s**t, and Bradley Beal isn't taking that responsibility seriously enough. In case this article finds its way to Beal, here's how vaccines work.
NBAPA President CJ McCollum pointed out that 90% of the league is vaccinated, a lot more than the general population, and that's a good thing. The NBA is doing its part to end the pandemic, and I hope those still debating getting the shot does what Lonnie Walker recommended - avoid social media."If you want the real information get it from a family physician or somebody that knows."