NBA grapples with gamer COVID vaccine theories



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The NBA has said about 90% of its players are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as the 2021-22 season approaches.

It is an impressive figure.

However, in order to get the whole NBA vaccinated and shut down that last 10%, it looks like the league is going to have a hard time.

A Saturday detailed the issues the NBA faces on that front, including conspiracy theories, stars unwilling to shoot and other outspoken players digging in their heels.

That, at least in the eyes of Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, cannot stand.

“The NBA should insist that all players and staff be vaccinated or remove them from the team,” Abdul-Jabbar said, via Rolling Stone. “There is no place for players who are willing to risk the health and lives of their teammates, staff and supporters just because they are unable to grasp the gravity of the situation or to do the research. required. What I find particularly misleading about the vaccine deniers is their arrogance towards disbelieving immunology and other medical experts. Yet if their child was sick or if they themselves needed emergency medical treatment, how quickly would they do exactly what those same experts told them to do? “

Kyrie Irving of the Brooklyn Nets
Kyrie Irving of the Brooklyn Nets is reportedly spreading a debunked microchip theory regarding COVID-19 vaccines. (Steven Ryan / Getty Images)

Kyrie Irving and the microchip theory

First of all, there is no microchip in any of the COVID-19 vaccines.

This absurd theory has already been debunked countless times and just doesn’t make sense.

This, however, hasn’t stopped this theory from spreading throughout the NBA locker room.

According to Rolling Stone, Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving – who has a past filled with conspiracy theories – would have liked social media posts about “secret societies” who “plant vaccines in conspiracy to connect black people. to a master computer for “a plan of Satan.” “

This false theory has spread to several different locker rooms and group discussions, said more than a dozen current players, executives and others.

While ridiculous, it’s easy to see how such a theory coming from Irving – who is vice chairman of the NBA Player’s Association executive committee – could hamper the league’s goal of vaccinating all of its players.

Jonathan Isaac of the Magic of Orlando
Orlando Magic forward Jonathan Isaac is reportedly still unvaccinated and proud of it. (Scott Taetsch / Getty Images)

Jonathan Isaac’s religious argument

Orlando Magic forward Jonathan Isaac is unvaccinated and, according to Rolling Stone, is very proud of it.

From Rolling Stone:

The 23-year-old Orlando Magic forward is deeply religious – and proudly unvaccinated. When NBA players started lining up for shots in March, Isaac began studying black history and watching Donald Trump press conferences. He learned about antibody resistance and came to be suspicious of Dr. Anthony Fauci. He was looking for people who might die from the vaccine and he trusted God.

“At the end of the day, it’s the people,” Isaac says of the scientists who develop vaccines, “and you can’t always trust people completely. “

Isaac said he feels unvaccinated players are both vilified and intimidated, and doesn’t understand the league’s vaccination rules – which require unvaccinated players to follow a stricter protocol. New York City and San Francisco require anyone entering public spaces like basketball stadiums to be vaccinated as well, including all players.

While he’s entitled to his religious argument, longtime center Enes Kanter – a Muslim from Turkey and one of the league’s most outspoken players – doesn’t.

Not only could this impact the squad and “could literally change an entire season” if a player were to be sidelined with the coronavirus, Kanter knows the science.

“If a guy doesn’t get the vaccine because of his religion, I feel like we’re in a time where religion and science have to go hand in hand,” Kanter said, via Rolling Stone. “I’ve talked to a lot of religious people, I’m like, ‘It saves lives, so what’s more important than that?”

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