A recent Rolling Stone report sheds light on a powerful faction of anti-science NBA players who oppose mandatory vaccinations and other Covid safety requirements in the league.
The report revealed that Brooklyn Nets goalie Kyrie Irving, vice chairman of the executive committee of the National Basketball Players Association union, is part of a recalcitrant group stubbornly refusing to be vaccinated against Covid-19.
Irving’s anti-vaccination stance is troubling to the league as he is a star player for a team in New York, where professional athletes must be vaccinated to play indoors without special exemptions. According to Rolling Stone, Irving’s influential role in the players’ union also complicates the league’s vaccination efforts as he floats coronavirus conspiracy theories.
From the report:
Irving, who is vice chairman of the players union executive committee, has recently started following and liking Instagram posts from a conspiracy theorist who claims “secret societies” are planting vaccines in a plot to connect black people. to a master computer for a plan of Satan.
In the report, Irving’s aunt suggested he could miss one in three games this season to escape Covid restrictions in New York City. Skipping matches to avoid health security measures would of course be his right. However, his refusal is not simply a personal choice. Her embrace of disinformation – especially race-based disinformation – is damaging given her prominent position in the players’ union, and that is why she deserves wide condemnation.
When powerful people use their platforms to talk about black people or act overtly on our behalf, careful consideration is required. And when Irving suggests that a vaccine that saves lives is a racist, satanic supercomputer, he shouldn’t be taken seriously – especially when he’s a known conspiracy theorist.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, activist and all-time NBA top scorer, denounced the spread of Covid disinformation among players in a statement to Rolling Stone:
“There is no place for players who are willing to risk the health and lives of teammates, staff and fans just because they are unable to grasp the gravity of the situation or to do the research. necessary, ”Abdul-Jabbar said.
“What I find particularly misleading about the vaccine deniers is their arrogance towards disbelieving immunology and other medical experts,” he added. “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?”
Already, there are signs that Irving’s opposition to vaccines and the health protocol has been embraced.
Jonathan Isaac, an unvaccinated Orlando Magic player, became suspicious of vaccines and Dr.Anthony Fauci, the government’s top infectious disease expert, after watching press conferences by Donald Trump and “study black history,” according to Rolling Stone. (For the record, Trump was vaccinated.)
From the report:
“If you are vaccinated, in other places you still have to wear the mask. It’s like, ‘OK, so what’s the point of the mask necessarily?’ Isaac continues. “And if Kyrie says that about his executive position in the NBPA, then kudos to him.”
No, not “kudos to him”. And no kudos for Isaac (who apparently watches Trump’s press conferences in his spare time), either. Dumb opinions are not commendable just because they are held.
If Irving or Isaac had spent time in actual studies, they would know that the abuse of black people by the health care system most often takes forms of neglect and denial of coverage – not the conspiracy plots in their imaginations.
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