Denver Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr. doesn’t feel comfortable getting the COVID-19 vaccine. He joins a handful of NBA players across the league who have voiced their opinions against getting the vaccine, including Orlando Magic forward Jonathan Isaac and Washington Wizards All-Star guard Bradley Beal.
Porter Jr., cited his experience with contracting COVID-19 twice as the reason why he feels comfortable not getting the vaccine.
“For me, I had COVID twice, I saw how my body reacted, and although the chances are slim, with the vaccine, there’s a chance you could have a bad reaction to it,” Porter said via the Denver Post. “For me, I don’t feel comfortable.”
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Porter also offered his thoughts about the potential for the NBA to pass a vaccine mandate, which hasn’t gained any traction as the players union has shot down any plan of that happening.
“My stance on the mandate is it definitely shouldn’t be a mandate. It should be everyone’s decision,” Porter said. “I see it both ways. If you want to get it because you feel more protected and you feel safer, and it’s protecting people around you, get it. That’s good for you. But if you feel like, ‘Oh, for me, I don’t feel safe getting it, then don’t get it.'”
The 22-year-old forward recently signed a five-year, $172 million contract with the Nuggets, and reportedly isn’t the only player unvaccinated on the team. Head coach Mike Malone said during Media Day on Monday that he would be “thrilled” if the team got to 100 percent vaccination rate, but it’s “not his call to mandate someone getting vaccinated.”
But it sounds like Porter Jr., at least for now, isn’t looking to help get the team to that 100 percent threshold.
“I’ve had it twice, and I don’t know what’s going in my body with a shot, so if I already know how I’m going to react to COVID, I just feel like, for me, I don’t want to risk putting something that might affect me negatively in my body,” Porter said.
If Porter elects not to get vaccinated before the season starts, he’ll be subject to harsher health and safety protocols including regular COVID-19 testing, mask wearing inside team facilities, sitting in a different room than his teammates if they’re eating and being extremely limited to where he can go when in Denver and on the road.