Jets quarterback Joe Flacco is the latest NFL player to acknowledge publicly that he’s unvaccinated, saying at his first press conference after being named the starter for Sunday’s game that he did not get the COVID-19 vaccine and will not say why.
“I’m not vaccinated,” Flacco said when asked directly.
Asked to discuss his reasons, Flacco said he didn’t want to create a distraction to the team.
“I definitely have my reasons,” Flacco said. “Honestly, I probably like to talk about this topic more than anybody. It’s one of those things that you debate with all the time. But overall I’ve felt like it’s more of a distraction than anything. So I feel like to kind of talk about it too much and give you all my beliefs, is more of a distraction than anything. I think the most important thing is going to play the football game.”
Unlike Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who has been violating NFL rules all season by talking to the media without a mask on, Flacco wore a mask while talking to reporters. Asked about Rodgers, Flacco said he hadn’t been following the Rodgers situation closely, but that for himself, he is following all of the NFL rules for unvaccinated players.
“I mean, we all know what the rules are. So when those things happen, we’ve all been told what the protocols are, and we’ve all been following the protocols,” Flacco said. “If you want to go out there and play the game you love, you have to do what you have to do.”
Flacco, like everyone, should get vaccinated because the vaccines are safe and effective and vital to ending the pandemic. But it’s at least to Flacco’s credit that, unlike Rodgers, he was honest when asked directly if he is vaccinated, and is following the NFL’s rules for unvaccinated players.