The discussion surrounding the COVID-19 vaccination has become somewhat of a sensitive topic, especially among people on social media. While government officials, medical experts like Dr. Anthony Fauci, and even some celebrities continue to implore people to get the shot and or continue to wear their masks when around others, some people are refusing for several reasons, including fear of side effects.
According to CNBC, former NBA star Charles Barkley, who says he is vaccinated, recently went on a rant about those wary of getting the shot, stating that “the only people who are not vaccinated are just a-holes.” The Hall of Famer continued, “Can you imagine if one of these guys that are not vaccinated, if they get one of these players’ kids, wives, girlfriends, moms and dads sick and they die over some unnecessary conspiracy bullsh-t. I think that would be tragic.”
Barkley’s comments come on the heels of the NFL’s new COVID-19 guidelines for all Tier 1 staff, including coaches, front-office executives, equipment managers, and scouts. Although the league does not require that players be vaccinated, those who aren’t will face stricter COVID-19 protocols, including stringent mask requirements and rules against frequenting public gatherings at bars, concerts, sports events and the like.
Barkley’s comments garnered mixed reactions from people online. Those still on the fence were not appreciative of being called a-holes, while others bizarrely accused the 58-year-old of being paid to encourage the public to get the shot, including one Twitter user who wrote, “Guess I’m an a–hole for being skeptical and cautious for my own health then.”
Another person responded, “Or ya know people who don’t want any crazy side affects, but ay if tht makes me a a–hole I’m the biggest one out there then 😂” though someone else was quick to fire back, “People will do crack before they get a vaccine.” The person continued, “Life is crazy. We live unhealthy everyday and you worried about a damn vaccine? You gonna die anyway just get the vaccine little man.”
Still, there were many critics who believed getting the vaccine should be left up to the individual and that others should accept their decision. “It’s their choice..,” wrote a user. “I took my vaccine but I can’t be mad at people who didn’t take it.”
Barkley concluded by stating that professional athletes should treat their jobs in the same way people who aren’t stars treat theirs. “There’s s— you can’t do at work, and there’s s— that you have to do at work,” Barkley said. “So every workplace has rules, and I think one of the rules [should be] that guys have to be vaccinated.” As of late, neither the NBA nor the MLB is demanding that players get vaccinated.