Basketball Hall of Famer and NBA television analyst Charles Barkley insists all professional sports leagues should make it mandatory for players to be vaccinated if they want to play.
The fired-up 58-year-old TNT broadcaster was typically forthright as he hit out at those who refuse to take the Covid-19 vaccine.
‘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 bulls***?
‘I think that would be tragic,’ he told CNBC.
NBA Hall of Famer Charles Barkley, 58, thinks all professional sports leagues should make it mandatory for players to get the vaccine in order to participate
Barkley likened playing in a professional sports league to having a corporate job.
He said: ‘There’s s*** you can’t do at work and there’s s*** that you have to do at work. So every workplace has rules and I think one of the rules (should be) that guys have to be vaccinated.’
Up to 80 per cent of NFL players, 90 per cent of NBA players and 85 per cent of MLB players have had at least one shot.
Barkley assured ‘yes, I’m vaccinated,’ and made his comments after a surge in Covid cases broke out across America due to the Delta variant.
Kent Bazemore of the Golden State Warriors said ‘no sir’ to the vaccine during a video conference with reporters back in March
‘Everybody should be vaccinated. Period.
‘The only people who are not vaccinated are just a**holes,’ he added.
But his views are not shared by all athletes in US professional sport, with several stars speaking out about their refusal to get vaccinated.
The NBA’s Golden State Warriors shooting guard Andrew Wiggins said: ‘I don’t really see myself getting it any time soon, unless I’m forced to somehow.’
Wiggins’s teammate Kent Bazemore said ‘no sir’ in a video conference with reporters back in March when asked if he would get vaccinated.
MLB’s Phillies closer Hector Neris joins the band of controversial, ant-vax pro sports players.
‘I don’t want to get the shot,’ he said in April before the series opener against the Mets.
Phillies manager Joe Girardi supported Neris: ‘I think it’s a personal decision. So whatever the player decides, I will back him no matter what.’
MLB’s Phillies’ closer Hector Neris joins the band of controversial, ant-vax pro sports players and the team’s manager Joe Giradi said ‘whatever the player decides, I will back him no matter what’
The NBA, MLB and NFL have ‘strongly encouraged’ players to get vaccinated but have not made it mandatory. Only the NFL’s guidelines require vaccination for all Tier 1 staff including coaches, front-office executives, equipment managers and scouts.
That was a problem with the Vikings this week after offensive line coach Rick Dennison was reportedly on his way out of Minnesota after refusing to to be vaccinated.
ESPN reported Friday that Dennison, an offensive line coach and running game coordinator, stepped down, becoming the first position coach to leave a team because of vaccine guidelines.
The team, however, told DailyMail.com that Dennison remained an employee.
The two sides found a compromise on Tuesday, when the team announced that Dennison would serve as an offensive advisor this season.
Meanwhile New England Patriots co-offensive line coach Cole Popovich has decided to leave the team over the vaccine mandate, according to multiple reports.
The NFL’s Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins deleted a tweet earlier this month that said he would ‘question’ his future in the NFL if not getting the vaccine could potentially hurt his team’s chances this year.
His tweet was posted on the heels of an NFL memo that said a forfeit would be declared for games that were canceled by an outbreak among unvaccinated players and couldn’t be rescheduled in the 18-month framework of the season.
The memo also declared that if a forfeit occurs, players on both teams would lose their game checks.
After deleting the initial tweet Hopkins then tweeted ‘Freedom?’
The NFL’s Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins was vocal about his anti-vax views on Twitter after an NFL memo declared that if a forfeit occurs due to an outbreak among unvaccinated players, both teams would lose their game checks
Hopkins deleted the tweet he posted on July 22 questioning his future in the NFL if not getting the vaccine could potentially hurt his team’s chances this year. He later tweeted to let his fans know he wasn’t going anywhere any time soon