Washington Wizards star Bradley Beal explains why he did not receive the COVID-19 vaccine: “It does not prevent anyone from contracting COVID”


Washington Wizards star Bradley Beal made waves on NBA Twitter on Monday.

Beal revealed during the team’s media day that he had not received the COVID-19 vaccine, citing personal reasons.

“I don’t feel any pressure, I don’t think you can pressure anyone to make a decision about their body or what they put in their body,” Beal told reporters. “We can also have this conversation on a lot of different topics besides vaccines. You can’t necessarily force anyone, I think you’re letting people fend for themselves on this. “

Beal tested positive for COVID-19 in July, which caused him to miss the Olympics and withdraw from the U.S. team roster for the Tokyo Games. He was placed under team health and safety protocols before Team USA confirmed he would be replaced by Jerami Grant of Detroit.

“Yeah, I had it, but that doesn’t mean I can’t get it again,” Beal explained Monday. “I mean, it’s no different from someone with the vaccine. Yes, I have developed antibodies for it, so my chances will also be less likely. This is always a possibility, just as there are players, coaches and staff who are vaxxed who also miss the camp.

Béal too noted that he “didn’t get sick at all” when he had COVID-19, but lost his sense of smell.

“I would like an explanation to people who have been vaccinated, why are they still getting COVID? Said Béal. “If this is something we’re supposed to be highly protected from, it’s funny that it only reduces your chances of going to the hospital. This does not prevent anyone from contracting COVID. “

Beal went on to say that there were no discussions about the vaccine’s side effects and how it affects players’ health. (No NBA player has been short on time because of the COVID-19 vaccine.)

Beal’s most recent teammate Kyle Kuzma followed his comments on Monday by saying “it’s personal” when asked if he’s been vaccinated.

Soon after, Kuzma tweeted, “So when does following the HIPAA rules relate to being anti-vaccine? “

Since the delta variant became the dominant variant in the United States, vaccinated people have a five-fold lower risk of being infected with COVID-19 and a more than 10-fold reduced risk of hospitalization and death, according to the CDC.

The NBA has proposed new guidelines that outline more stringent protocols for unvaccinated players than for vaccinated players – similar to the NFL.

The NBA sent a memo to teams earlier this month saying it will follow local regulations on COVID-19 vaccinations. For example, that means unvaccinated New York and San Francisco players will not be able to play at home, which will impact the Nets and Warriors rosters.

– Aron Yohannes

[email protected]; @aronyohannes

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