DANNY MURPHY: I am shocked some Premier League stars have not been vaccinated… if I was a senior player now I would certainly be speaking to team-mates who have not taken the Covid-19 jab
- I find it bizarre that after researching, that any player would refuse a Covid 19 jab
- It would be to protect themselves and their clubs, making health a priority
- Throughout my playing career I always took the flu jab for the same reason
- However, I do understand there are various reasons why some may refuse jab
I am in disbelief that any Premier League squad would have several players in it who have declined the opportunity to be vaccinated against Covid.
I find it bizarre that anyone with the ability to do their research and speak to the right medical people would not have a jab to protect themselves and the interests of their own clubs unless there was an exceptionally good reason, like a strong religious belief.
Being part of a football club means being in a group that tries to do everything to gain success by pulling in the same direction. To jeopardise that by being persuaded not to join the vast majority of people and make health a priority is baffling.
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is among the team bosses who have encouraged their players to become fully vaccinated against Covid-19
If I was a senior player in the dressing-room, I would definitely be involved in having a conversation about it. Even if you take the obvious aspects away like stopping Covid spreading in the community, what if your decision leads to positive tests that means your team selection is weakened for big games.
I remember being told when I played that it was my choice whether to have the flu jab or not but if I didn’t and then caught flu causing me to miss matches, I would firstly not get paid and secondly find it hard to get in the team. I don’t know if the threat had any legal basis but I was first in line to be vaccinated.
The modern dressing-room might be different. Some senior players may want to speak up but are worried if they tried to persuade team-mates to get vaccinated, they would be hammered on social media. I do understand that fear of repercussions.
Chelsea’s Christian Pulisic is among the players to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 but will however miss his side’s match with Arsenal on Sunday after testing positive for the disease
But ideally you would still have a mature discussion in the squad. If I was in my 30s and a younger lad was sceptical about being vaccinated, we’d sit down with the club doctor and the scientific literature and ask them to give me a good reason why they wouldn’t want to help the club by being vaccinated.
You have to be open-minded and if someone was fearful or had an ethical reason, you’d listen.
But you feel the majority have either fallen for conspiracy theories or simply feel, at their age, they are invincible.
And I can understand that — I was like that myself at 23 which is why you need the input of senior players or the manager to point out why it’s a good thing to have in the real world.
Murphy admits he took flu jabs during his career as a way to benefit his club and team-mates
On football criteria alone, why would you risk taking a decision that may later see you have to play three games without your star player because they test positive?
Of course, freedom of choice is an important principle but we’ve all gone along with the ban on smoking in pubs and restaurants because we understand sacrificing a bit of personal freedom is acceptable if you reduce the risk of others getting ill through passive smoking. I think the vaccination scenario is comparable.
The majority of players have been vaccinated so I’d expect those who aren’t to be able to come up with a good explanation why not. Otherwise, they should get it done, for themselves and others.