Bradley Beal clarifies his COVID-19 vaccine comments originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
Bradley Beal is active on social media and generally aware of the prevailing storylines featuring his name, so he was privy to the backlash directed towards him and other NBA players after media day on Monday in which he questioned the effectiveness of Covid-19 vaccines.
On Tuesday, the first day of Wizards training camp, Beal was asked two more questions about the matter. Though he didn’t exactly walk his comments back, he did try to clarify what he said. As a role model and public figure, he wants everyone to know he was not trying to sway anyone’s opinion. He was just stating his own.
“What I stated yesterday, I believe what I said. It’s my opinion. The ‘why’ is personal, but also along those lines, I also said I am still considering getting the vaccine,” Beal said. “So, one thing I want to get clear is I’m not sitting up here advocating or campaigning that ‘no, you should not get that vaccine.”
“I want to get that straight, I’m not sitting up here saying ‘vaccines are bad.’ I’m not sitting up here saying ‘this vaccine is bad.’ I’m not sitting up here saying that you shouldn’t get it. It is a personal decision between every individual, that’s it. Right? And I have that personal right to keep it to myself or keep it with my family and I would like everybody to respect that.”
After that, Beal revealed some factors at play that he did not mention on Monday. One is that, according to him, he is not currently eligible to be vaccinated because he was told to wait 60 days after contracting COVID-19 before being vaccinated. Beal contracted the virus in July just before the Tokyo Olympics and while at Team USA men’s basketball training camp.
“According to laws and rules that are put into place, I wouldn’t be able to, I still wouldn’t be vaccinated right now, regardless, because I just got over COVID,” Beal said.
The important context there would be that Beal had previous opportunities to get vaccinated and, evidently, chose not to. Adults in his age group were able to do so in D.C. beginning in the spring.
Beal also said he has actually done some real research on the matter. While some vaccine skeptics may be getting their information from questionable news websites, politicians or a family member on Facebook, he has actively consulted with Wizards team doctors.
Perhaps they can ultimately convince Beal to get the shot. He reiterated he has not completely made up his mind.
“I know for sure our organization doesn’t pressure me. We have conversations about it all the time,” Beal said.
“We talk about it every day … I’ll just go about those rules until my decision changes, which is still possible. I’m not sitting here saying that I won’t get it.”