The NBA Finals are in full swing – but when Phoenix Suns superstar Chris Paul was sidelined due to the league’s covid-19 health and safety protocols, the politics of vaccination also began to take center stage. Players and pundits alike have weighed in on how Paul’s situation is indicative of a larger issue surrounding professional athletes’ vaccination status – and whether or not they should be required to disclose it. Here are 3 things to know about the Chris Paul controversy.
Although former NBA stars and current TV sports analysts Jalen Rose and Matt Barnes have both gone on record saying Paul has been vaccinated, the talented point guard has not personally disclosed his status to the public.
As the president of the NBA Players Association, Paul has stated he believes it is a personal choice for players to publicly disclose their vaccination status. “When it comes to all different types of vaccines, a lot of that stuff is personal,” Paul said in Dec. 2020.
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In an article in The Atlantic, sports journalist Jemele Hill said she believes the players should be required to inform their team and the public of their vaccination status to better serve the greater good.
“If a player’s availability to his team could be compromised because of exposure to the virus, that’s crucial information. It shouldn’t be treated any differently from when a player suffers an injury such as a concussion, an ankle sprain, or a torn ACL,” Hill wrote.
Hill’s opinion is one in the ever-increasing influx of thoughts about not only one’s own personal vaccinations status, but that of others.
The internet giant ran an article about Paul on its website entitled “Unvaccinated Suns star sidelined by COVID protocols.” Yahoo made this assertion with no actual evidence because even those who are vaccinated can test positive for the coronavirus.
It should be noted, however, that fans are not clear whether Paul actually tested positive or was exposed to someone who did. The heasline is another example of
Paul was first sidelined Wednesday, June 16, when the Suns announced he would be out in accordance with covid protocols. He missed Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals on Sunday, June 20 and the NBA announced he would remain out for Game 2, taking place on Tuesday, June 22.
It is something sports columnist Dan Bicklet questioned when he tweeted, “If Chris Paul is vaccinated, asymptotic and ineligiblee, @NBA Commissioner Adam Silver needs to explain why he is OK with packing arenas for profit.”
There is no definitive timeline for Paul’s return, however, NBA reporter Chris Haynes said Paul is symptom-free and quarantining in Los Angeles. Paul did speak to his teammates on FaceTime after Game 1, in which they were victorious.