Monday, December 6 2021
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Media Day around the NBA is in full swing, and as players answer all the typical questions about what they worked on over the summer and what expectations they have for the upcoming season, one of the most prominent questions being asked is if players are vaccinated. Some, like Memphis Grizzlies star point guard Ja Morant openly stated they’re vaccinated, while others, like Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving takes the “I would like to keep that private,” approach. 

Several players opted to take the “no comment” approach with the vaccination question, but Washington Wizards star guard Bradley Beal had no issue saying he was “not vaccinated for personal reasons.” The All-Star guard who had to forgo his spot on the Olympic men’s basketball team this summer due to contracting COVID-19 said he doesn’t feel pressure to get vaccinated.

“I don’t think you can pressure anybody into doing things, or putting things in their body,” Beal said Monday.

While other players around the league shut down all questions regarding COVID-19 vaccinations, Beal didn’t shy away from giving his opinion on the matter.

“I would ask the question to those who are getting vaccinated, ‘why are you still getting COVID?,” Beal said. “…You can still get COVID and still pass it along it vaccinated. So…”

Unlike players in New York City and San Francisco, it isn’t required for Beal to get vaccinated to play in home games for the Wizards. The league also isn’t forcing players to get vaccinated, but for those who aren’t, heavier restrictions have been placed upon them throughout the season. Players who aren’t vaccinated must undergo daily testing, are required to wear masks inside team facilities and have to quarantine if they come into close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. While it won’t put a hinderance on his ability to perform with his teammates on the court, Beal will be heavily restricted from doing off-the-court things.

Still, he doesn’t seem too moved to get the vaccine right now.

“[The NBA] kind of force us, in a way, to want to get [the vaccine],” Beal said. “At the end of the day [I’ll] talk it over with my family.”

It’s unclear how many other players on the Wizards are also unvaccinated, as Kyle Kuzma elected to not share his vaccination status, while Montrezl Harrell said he got vaccinated during last season to keep his family safe. The league as a whole is at 90 percent vaccination rate among players, but as reported on Saturday, that 10 percent of players who are choosing to not get vaccinated are making it difficult for the NBA to reach that 100 percent vaccination rate.



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