Teams with high vaccination rates will have a competitive advantage. They also will minimize the potential internal turmoil.
In Buffalo, a full-blown COVID schism could be on the way, after Thursday’s memo making it clear that teams that can’t play due to COVID outbreaks among unvaccinated personnel will forfeit games. In addition to receiver Cole Beasley‘s periodic anti-vaccine Twitter rants, guard Jon Feliciano has opened up with his views on the matter. At the same time, receiver Stefon Diggs seems to be on board with the simple logic tying vaccinations to being available to play.
“It’s been proven that COVID was made in lab,” Feliciano tweeted. “Fauci also a part of Pfizer that’s why ppl don’t want to get the vaccine. Sad to come to the realization that you can not trust the government.”
Even if COVID was made in a lab (and it quite possibly was), that doesn’t matter when it comes to beating it. The vaccine has been proven to reduce the instances of serious injury and death for those who get it. And the persistent (and inaccurate) attacks on Anthony Fauci trace to one specific person to whom Fauci refused to kowtow. (And that person got vaccinated after nearly dying from COVID pneumonia.)
There’s no point trying to get Feliciano to unwash his brain, even as far-right politicians like Ron DeSantis and far-right commentators like Sean Hannity urge their base to get vaccinated and, in turn, avoid dying from COVID. But there are folks in the so-called movable middle who finally may snap out of it and get vaccinated.
The #StickToFootball point for now is clear. Some teams will have locker-room issues, especially if some players continues to refuse to get vaccinated even after Thursday’s clear indication that teams who can’t play due to outbreaks among the unvaccinated will forfeit games. The teams that can avoid such problems will have a better chance of competing with those that can’t.