Outspoken “Inside the NBA” analyst Charles Barkley is fed up with professional athletes electing to not get vaccinated against COVID-19.
The former NBA player held nothing back in lamenting that at this point in the pandemic athletes are simply choosing to only think of themselves.
“For us to be selfish and not trying to help the world get back where we can take these stupid masks off and go to dinner in a full restaurant, I just think it’s selfish,” said the fully vaccinated Hall of Famer while guest hosting “The Mike Missanelli Show” on Sept. 2.
Last season, with some semblance of “normal” taking place in the U.S., and arenas allowing spectators to attend games, the push for people to get vaccinated has only intensified.
As far as Barkley is concerned, he does not want to hear about the countless excuses players are standing on to avoid the shot.
“I’ve heard these idiots talk about chips in it, and I heard people talking about [the government] wants to follow us around. They can follow us around anyway. Everybody got a cellphone,” continued Barkey. “And first of all what are you doing that you’re worried about people following you?”
Online, his recent remarks have drawn support from those equally fed up with people willingly choosing not to receive the vaccine.
“Goof for Charles Barkley, who called unvaxxed sports stars ‘selfish’ as they ‘get every single check’ while others lose their jobs or lives to Covid,” wrote one person online.
Another commented, “Athletes benefitted from nonstop testing in order to keep their profession going. Meanwhile, teachers and other essential workers had to hope for the best. Charles is absolutely right.”
In late July Michele Roberts, executive director of the National Basketball Players Association, said about 10 percent of players, roughly 50 or so, were unvaccinated.
“I had individual conversations with players who were rabidly opposed to a vaccination, who I know got vaccinated ultimately. And it ended up being exactly what was described as a personal decision, where the guys wanted to work through their concerns,” said Roberts to “Yahoo! Sports.”
“I mean, we were at 90 percent — which I, frankly, this is much, much more than I would have predicted a couple months ago. We had meetings with all the teams. And they were asking those who were inclined to be vaccinated and those who weren’t asking very, very tough questions of our docs [doctors].”
Barkley’s previous rant about unvaccinated players included him calling them “a-sholes” who are potentially putting not only their loved ones at risk of contracting the virus, but also their teammates.
“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.”
Protocols for NBA players who choose to remain unvaccinated going into the upcoming season include:
- Daily Covid-19 testing
- Masks are mandatory at team facilities and while traveling with the team
- Players must remain socially distanced ( 6 ft) from other players in the lockers room, during team meetings and other activities
- Must quarantine for seven days if in close contact with a Covid-19 positive individual.