Source: Joe Morgan
The media may be constantly asking athletes if they’ll attempt to push their unvaccinated teammates toward receiving the shot, but NBA players don’t appear to have any interest in telling their teammates what to do.
Though it was reported Thursday that nearly 95% of the league is vaccinated, the few players that remain unvaccinated have become the main topic of conversation.
Draymond Green is a three-time NBA champion, the 2017 NBA Defensive Player of the Year, and the unquestioned leader of the Golden State Warriors.
But Green doesn’t feel that his leadership role extends to telling teammates what to put in their bodies.
“That would be like me telling him, ‘Yo, your wife is going into labor. How dare you leave this team and not go tend to your wife?’” Green said. “That’s something that’s personal to him. That’s something that’s health-related. That’s something that’s personal to his family. This is no different. We’re dealing with something that to me feels like has turned into a political war when you’re talking about vaccinated [people] and non-vaccinated [people]. I think it’s become very political.”
Green was speaking on Warriors guard Andrew Wiggins, who recently had a tense exchange with the media about his hesitancy in receiving the vaccine.
“It’s none of your business is what it comes down to,” Wiggins said on Monday when asked about his reasoning behind not getting the shot. “I don’t ask you guys what you think is right or wrong. We’re different people … Who are you guys where I have to explain what I believe? Or what’s right or what’s wrong in my mind. We’re two totally different people. What you think is not what I think. What I think is not what you think.”
“Anything that has to do with my status, vaccination, it’s a private matter,” he continued. “So, I’m going to keep it personal and private.”
For Wiggins and for the Warriors, the decision to be unvaccinated could have major implications.
NBA athletes who play in New York and San Francisco will be required to have the vaccine in order to play indoors, per local rules. On Wednesday, the NBA announced that any player who misses a game due to not being vaccinated will not be paid for the missed game.
The Warriors have 41 games at the Chase Center in San Francisco for the 2021-2022 season.
Five-time All-Star Klay Thompson is expected to make his return after missing two years due to injuries, and Golden State is expected to be competitive in the Western Conference.
Green doesn’t see that as a reason to pressure Wiggins to be vaccinated, saying that it’s every individual’s choice.
“For someone who’s not extremely into politics, when you make something so political — not everyone is into politics — then you can also turn those people off,” Green continued. “There is something to be said for people concerns about something that’s being pressed so hard. Like ‘why are you pressing this so hard?’”
“You say we live in the land of the free. Well, you’re not giving anyone freedom because you’re making people do something essentially,” Green said later. “Without necessarily making them, you’re making them do something. That goes against everything that America stands for, or supposedly stands for.”
“It’s not my place nor my business on whether he gets vaccinated or not … That’s none of my business,” Green continued. “And I think people in this world could do themselves a great deal if they actually took that approach as well. It’s your own personal choice at the end of the day, what you do with your body. It’s not my place what he should or shouldn’t do with his. Because he’s not going to come tell me what I should do with my body. Just because I am a leader of this team don’t give me the right to go tell him what to do with his. That’s his personal choice”
On Tuesday, LeBron James announced that he was vaccinated, but said that it wasn’t his place to tell others what to do with their bodies.
“We’re talking about individual’s bodies,” James said on Tuesday when elaborating on his decision. “We’re not talking about something that’s political or racism or police brutality or things of that nature. We’re talking about people’s bodies and well-being. So I don’t feel like for me personally that I should get involved in what other people should do for their bodies and their livelihoods.”
The NBA regular season begins October 19th.
Joe Morgan is the Sports Reporter for The Daily Wire. Most recently, Morgan covered the Clippers, Lakers, and the NBA for Sporting News. Send your sports questions to email@example.com.