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Anonymous Mailbag

It’s Tuesday, which means it’s time for the anonymous mailbag to arrive and solve all the world’s biggest problems.

It’s also Masters week, and we’ve got a heck of an offer for gamblers out there. Bet $5 on Jordan Spieth, Dustin Johnson or Rory McIlroy to make the cut at Augusta, and you get back $100. That’s a 20-1 payout for new users, so go get signed up today.

As always, send your anonymous mailbag questions to claytravis@gmail.com, anonymity guaranteed.

Okay, here we go:

“I am a groomsman in a friend’s wedding scheduled for the end of May. Unfortunately, the groom and his family have totally bought into the coronabro fear porn and have asked, prior to attending the wedding, that all the attendees get a COVID vaccine. I was told the groom’s mother is asking for it but the groom is also on the fear porn neurotic side. They are also insisting the wedding will follow strict CDC guidelines, especially about masking and social distancing. I suspect some of it is that the father died last year (non-COVID causes) and they’re scared about their health but they are going overboard in my view on watching CNN coronabro coverage. He is a healthy adult male in his early 30s with no at-risk health conditions and most, if not all, of the attendees are healthy but I don’t know for sure.

This friend has been a good friend for the past 13 years and the wedding was originally scheduled to happen last year but was postponed due to COVID. I didn’t expect that I would be asked to get a vaccine I’m not rushing to get (given how untested all the current versions are) as a condition of being at his wedding. I want to go but I do not know if I will be vaccinated, or if I will get it in time for the wedding as my state has been slow to roll it out. If I don’t get vaccinated, should I lie to the groom and his mother about it so they won’t tell me not to come? Should I just take the vaccine out of respect for his family? If not, what’s the best way to approach this situation? I have tried to talk sense into my friend about the facts and I’ve even sent him several of your videos and articles pointing out the fear porn and the facts but he is as frightened of COVID as he was last year.”

By late May, given the current rollout, any adult who wants a vaccine will have access to it.

So I don’t think you can plead lack of access as the reason you don’t have it. So what should you do? You have three options: 1. get the vaccine 2. lie about getting the vaccine 3. refuse to attend the wedding over a vaccine requirement. (To be fair, would they actually prohibit you from attending if you didn’t get the vaccine? We don’t really know. Presumably they aren’t going to be checking vaccine cards at the hotel check-in.)

Given these three options, I’d probably get the vaccine — the one shot Johnson and Johnson version — rather than adopt either of the other two options: 1. lie about getting it or 2. refuse to attend the wedding over the vaccine issue.

Why would I make this decision? Because it’s his wedding.

At your age, you’ve probably been to a bunch of weddings that were set up differently than what you might have personally preferred. I’m through the wedding rush now — pretty much all of my friends have gotten married — but I’ve been to every type of wedding that’s ever existed.

I even gave a toast at an Indian wedding for my college roommate Krishna that I thought went really well, but that I was later told set back white people in the eyes of the elderly Indian people there to such an extent that all of Indiana Jones’s good deeds in Temple of Doom are now dead to them. The young Indian people liked it, FYI. (Incidentally, I have asked if there is a video of this best man toast because I’d like to share it. Stay tuned.)

The point here is, it’s their wedding. You aren’t really involved in the choices that have been made for their wedding, and even if you were, they still wouldn’t be your preferences. They’d be the bride and groom’s preferences.

I understand some of you would choose to lie and others of you would choose not to attend the wedding and I respect those choices too, but personally I’d value my friendship over those options here and I’d get the one shot vaccine.

I’d also take a picture of my stupid vaccine card as well because, in the event someone asks for proof of the vaccination, I’d at least want to prove it. I doubt they would do this, but this also calls into question your choice if you lie. Then you have to compound the lie if someone asks to see your vaccine proof before the wedding and claim you don’t have it.

In making my choice, I’m presuming that you are very good friends with this guy. If someone I wasn’t great friends with wanted me to get a vaccine to attend his wedding, I’d consider it a perfect excuse not to go. But that doesn’t seem to be the case here.

Some of my friends disagree with me about COVID. Some of them even — gasp! — don’t agree with my political opinions. That’s fine. You shouldn’t only be friends with people who agree with you on everything. That’s one of the biggest issues out there in America today. People are surrounding themselves with only people who agree with everything they already believe.

You’re young and healthy, which means you don’t need the vaccine. But it also means you don’t really have any significant risk from the vaccine either. I’d stop arguing about it with the groom and get the vaccine.

Best case scenario, by the end of May, these COVID protocols aren’t really in effect very much and maybe they will relax the absurd protections at the wedding. Worst case scenario, the wedding sucks and you waste a weekend. But isn’t that always the worst case scenario?

“So it now appears that Bob Kraft (white owner of the Patriots) and Deshaun Watson (black QB of the Texans) both enjoyed happy ending massages, Watson perhaps a little too much.

Without anything criminal or civil having been proven against Watson in a court of law, how can the NFL possibly discipline Watson when, to the best of my knowledge, Kraft received no punishment whatsoever? I know, I know, Kraft’s charges were dropped, but it was clear to anyone with a brain and a bottle of oil that he engaged in the conduct alleged and put the NFL in an awful position from a PR standpoint. Surely that’s a personal conduct policy violation.

I’m wondering if you see a racial nightmare coming for the NFL if things unfold in this direction and Watson gets suspended when Kraft did not.”

First, everything in sports is immediately racial now, so you’re probably correct that someone will make this case.

But I think there’s a pretty big difference here and that’s this: Robert Kraft’s actions, if they occurred, were consensual. That is, there’s no suggestion the woman involved in his massage was forced to do something she didn’t want to do. There was no sexual assault allegation at all. Whereas all 22 women, at least so far, have alleged that Deshaun Watson sexually assaulted them.

So it’s one consensual massage vs. 22 women alleging sexual assault.

As I’ve long said, I don’t have a personal problem with consenting adults paying for or selling sex or sex-related activities. So I’m sure some will try to make this argument, but I really don’t see it holding much substance, especially since Kraft denied he’d done anything inappropriate and the tape, which contained evidence of alleged wrongdoing, was deemed inadmissible in a court of law.

As a result, there is zero evidence, other than the charges themselves, that Kraft ever broke the law. I suppose the NFL could punish Kraft for being charged with a crime in the first place, but any punishment would have to be fairly inconsequential, I think.

Plus, the NFL might not want to fight another legal battle with Kraft after the deflategate drama. Furthermore, it’s not like the NFL has avoided punishing owners when they admit criminal wrongdoing. The NFL previously punished Jim Irsay, the owner of the Colts, over his legal troubles, suspending him six games and fining him as well.

So I really don’t see these situations as very analogous at all.

Watson faces far more serious legal consequences than Robert Kraft ever did.

“I bought a place in a small (less than 30 homes) neighborhood near the downtown where I live. I’ve been eyeing this girl who lives several homes down. We’re both young professionals making 6 figures who enjoy having a good time, and have our shit together. We have chatted a bit while walking our dogs. How do I approach this? My fear is that neither of us are renters and things could get awkward should this not work out. What’s my play here?”

I don’t really see this as a tough decision. If you think the two of you might make a good couple, I’d ask her out.

You live in different houses in a downtown city. It’s not like you live together in a tiny town.

People date others who live in their apartments, condos, or office settings all the time. In each of those scenarios, you are far more likely to come into contact with the person if the relationship doesn’t work out. The only way I could see this becoming a major issue would be if you dated each other seriously for a long time and then had a bad break up, making it awful for each of you to be in the presence of the other.

But what are the odds of that happening?

They seem low.

Right now, you’re both single living in your own houses. Odds are, if one of you gets married or has kids, you’d end up moving to a new house regardless, so it’s not like this living situation exists forever. I’d just ask her out. What’s the worst thing that could happen? She could say no. If that happens, so what? You move on knowing you were more interested in her than she was in you. No harm.

If you don’t want to take that step, then it would seem pretty easy for you to have a party at your place and make sure she’s invited. If she’s at all interested in you, she’ll be at the party. If she’s not, so be it. That way you’d avoid ever extending the dating offer in the first place.

Good luck.

“I’ve been a Major League Baseball fan all of my life and I’m having a bit of an identity crisis with this All-Star Game situation.

As a south Floridian, the closest team we had was the Braves. So I grew up worshipping iconic players like Chipper Jones, John Smoltz… you know, the whole gang I could watch every night on TBS as a kid. The 90s Braves were (as the kids today say) lit AF.

When nearby Miami got a team of their own, I became a Marlins fan. My family felt it was right to support the local franchise. So I rooted for the fish alongside 50 other people in south Florida (it really is the shittiest fanbase.) Through two championships, I grew to love them — despite the fire sales, revolving door, and heartless ownership over the years. I even interned for the team while in college and had some amazing experiences.

When MLB moved the All-Star Game out of Atlanta, Marlins CEO Derek Jeter shot off some ultra-woke, ignorant statement in support of the decision. And I can unequivocally say that the Marlins are now dead to me. I fully support Georgia’s election integrity law and hope many other states follow suit.

My questions for you at this crossroad in my life are: 1) Is there a way to find out which franchises supported or voted for the All-Star Game decision? I want to support a new team that doesn’t bow to the woke mob. 2) Would I be better off boycotting all of MLB, despite how much that will hurt? 3) Should I just become a Braves fan again? Bobby Cox would’ve never bowed to this shit.

Help me, Clay Travis. You’re my only hope.”

I’d flip back to being a Braves fan, honestly.

Here’s my logic: you started off your life as a Braves fan and the Braves have been pretty public in their disapproval of MLB’s decision. The Marlins, on the other hand, are trotting out the usual woke commentary to support the decision. So why not go back to your original true fan love? This feels like the perfect excuse to do so.

As for whether or not to boycott MLB, I think lots of fans will have to make decisions on how to spend their entertainment dollars going forward. My initial inclination was to avoid spending money on MLB tickets, but then the Braves came out strongly repudiating MLB’s decision and it feels unfair to punish the Braves for a choice they themselves didn’t make.

The solution I’ve reached is this: I won’t spend money on any other team tickets going forward for the foreseeable future.

My family has bought MLB tickets in Denver, Cincinnati, Detroit and Seattle in recent years. In general, if we’re vacationing near a MLB park, I try to take my family to a game there. I don’t think we’ll be doing that going forward.

I will, however, be taking my ten-year-old to watch the Braves play this summer. (That’s what sucked the most about this MLB decision. I’d already promised him we’d go to the All-Star Game in Atlanta this year. I may have access to the game in Denver, but I don’t think I want to be there now. Which means we’ll take a trip down to watch games in person this year, just not the All-Star Game, which would have been awesome.)

As for knowing which teams supported the decision and which teams didn’t, I don’t think you’ll ever have a full accounting since the ultimate decision seems to have rested with Commissioner Rob Manfred, who I think completely blew his decision here.

And I think baseball will bear the brunt of that decision for a decent amount of time going forward.

“I know you’ve discussed the biased reporting and coverage of various local, state, and national approaches to the pandemic, especially on the topic of school closures, mask mandates, and lockdowns. Seems when these topics come up, facts go out the window and fear mongering sets in: lets report heavily that 1 college kid who had serious complications instead of giving percentages, etc.

My question is, do you believe we’ll get to a point in the future where we honestly and unbiasedly look back at various responses to the pandemic and analyze them. What worked, what didn’t work, what can we do to better prepare for the future, and so on?

I’m especially curious about the medical field. Seems they’ve flown under the radar, well, actually have been put on a pedestal, when they’ve made some really head scratching decisions:

Delaying of treatments, procedures, screenings, etc. Cancer centers, of all people, should know the danger of postponing a breast cancer screening or colonoscopy, but we pushed these out months and further in some cases.

Visitor policies. My mom passed away from breast cancer last year. She spent some of her final days of her life in a cancer hospital ICU room alone. Not even my dad could visit her. She was also told that her cancer had passed the point of treatment and the hospital recommended discharge and going on hospice, again, alone. And yes, she then had to make that decision alone. Sure, she was able to call my dad and discuss, but she didn’t have him there with her to make the decision. Am I the only one who thinks this is inhumane and beyond common sense? I mean, what’s the risk? My mom was tested for COVID, she tested negative. My dad lived with her, was her primary caregiver, etc. If he had it, she would’ve had it.

And the last point I’ll touch on, and this may be the biggest, in my opinion, is vaccine distribution. I’m not sure why the decision was made or by who, but we decided to vaccinate entire hospital systems before those who were at risk. Young, healthy sports medicine doctors, administrators (even those working remotely from home) all received vaccines in the first days or weeks, if they chose to….before elderly and at risk individuals. And not only are we not questioning this, but we’re applauding it? And now we have concerns of why poorer communities are so far behind middle and upper class communities when it comes to vaccine distribution rates. Sure, there are lots of reasons that’s the case, but nobody acknowledges that they started a few million doses behind because of this one policy? I mean this industry, on a whole, is healthy, younger, and middle class and up. And the majority of them aren’t necessarily on the front lines in dealing with and treating COVID patients. Yes, I think they should all be able to get the vaccine and be a priority. I just don’t understand why they were first.”

I’m sorry to hear about your mom.

One of the worst decisions that I think we made in regards to COVID was forcing people who were dying to die alone. Especially when those people didn’t have COVID, like your mom. This was completely indefensible and inhumane.

I’ve been arguing for much of the past year that our response to COVID is the biggest public policy failure in modern American history, the worst since Vietnam. My hope is that the in the years — and decades — ahead, we will get a full accounting of this failure so that we can learn from it going forward. Just as we eventually did when it came to the Vietnam War.

It seems clear now that stopping the virus was virtually impossible for any Western democracy. You can argue we shouldn’t have trusted China at all in the first place — something I was guilty of as well — but unfortunately we did trust China initially, which left us open to this pandemic. Barring complete distrust of China, a policy many Asian countries seem to have adopted, I’m not sure how we could have stopped the spread in our country or in any other democracy.

Once the virus was here, we had two pathways: the Florida model, keep as much open as possible and try to live our lives normally while protecting our vulnerable and elderly citizens the best we could, or the California model, shut down everything and impose stringent lockdowns on everyone regardless of age or risk factors.

And guess what? Despite wildly divergent paths, the numbers in Florida and California are nearly identical, meaning the data suggests the entire country should have adopted Florida’s model. I think many people are starting to recognize this, but it will take years for the vast majority of the country to fully acknowledge these facts.

Why?

Because that will require them to realize that we gained no benefit from lockdowns at all. And that will require that, for instance, they acknowledge shutting down public schools for a year was an unmitigated disaster. And that “experts” like Dr. Fauci didn’t actually make any of us safer at all.

I actually think this could turn into the biggest issue in the 2024 election, which is why I think the mainstream media is taking aim at Florida’s governor Ron DeSantis right now. DeSantis is a big favorite to win reelection in 2022 based on how he’s handled COVID. If he does that, then I believe he’ll become the front runner for the 2024 Republican nomination.

But there’s still a long way to go.

Okay, I’m off to knock out my shows this afternoon and then I’m coaching little league for my ten-year-old.

As always, keep the questions coming and thanks for supporting OutKick.

Written by Clay Travis

OutKick founder, host and author. He's presently banned from appearing on both CNN and ESPN because he’s too honest for both.

14 Comments

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    • LoL… Dude he makes a rather valid point tho.. Young/healthy people are at little risk from side effects of the virus just as they are at little risk from the side effects of the vaccine.

      I agree that the risk/reward ratio for a young/healthy person isn’t that great but it’s not like that demographic is dropping like files from vaccine side effects either. Millions of people around the globe have received one of the several different vaccines already so it’s not like the testing base is a small data point.

      If it were that big of an issue for me I’d just lie and said I got the vaccine but you’d die on that hill?? lmao

        • Bro, that’s the same shit people say about the virus itself. The fear porn mongers beat the “long-term” drum all day. And I get it – question everything.

          Other half of the coin is I wouldn’t be a dick to a good friend getting married over something petty. Just lie and if you feel sick stay home. Everyone wins.

    • I usually agree with Clay but this is a valid point

      In addition No one is answering (clay included)
      What is there protocol if all are vaccinated

      “They are also insisting the wedding will follow strict CDC guidelines, especially about masking and social distancing.”

      Why the f would you demand this if everyone there is vaccinated??????????

      I dont want the vaccine but if all at a facility or gathering have it…then why would you mask??

      • I don’t understand the vaccine opposition from people on this side. If you have the belief like Clay, myself, and most of the conservative-leaners that Covid ain’t sh*t and you’re not scared of it (essentially a bad flu), then why would you be scared of the vaccine?

        Also I’m with Atwaterb, if someone requires people to be vaccinated, why the hell do you require people to also wear a mask? That’s just theater. For show only.

        • I’m with you on that. Seems like a lot of people on the right have to go full-blown anti-vaccine for the sake of taking the complete opposite side of leftist morons. Reasonable people can apply some nuance to this debate.

          Based on the number of people who have already been infected and the number of people who have already received one of the several vaccines it’s fair to say most people are at little risk from either, especially young & healthy people. Yes, there are anecdotes of adverse affects from the vaccine but the exception isn’t the rule.

          The “we don’t know the long-term side effects of the vaccine” comes from the same playbook as those peddling fear about the long-term side effects of the virus.

  1. I wouldn’t go to the wedding even if my friends were good friends. My body comes first, not their little party. They’re likely to get divorced too with this level of fear porn and anxiety

  2. The audacity of some people to try to pressure others to get an experimental, novel vaccine in order to go to their social function is ridiculous. I would say I won’t be getting the vaccine. But, I would volunteer to get a Covid test the day before and show it to whoever was worried about it when I showed up.

  3. I would tell the wedding party to pound sand kinda of arrogant to tell people what to do regarding a health choice its a wedding no one really cares except for the open bar and food

  4. I can definitely relate to the South Floridian that became a Braves fan. I went to Spring workouts and games at Municipal Stadium in West Palm for the entire time the Braves were there. And to top off the experience the Expos (with their many upcoming young stars) shared the facility for several years. And as soon as they discovered baseball my sons also shared that baseball wealth. The Marlins came along and I gave them a chance. Went to about 20 games in Year One and enjoyed the efforts of the varied roster. But through the later changes in ownership it seemed the Marlins FO wasn’t concerned at all about marketing North of Broward County. With the relocation to the new Stadium in downtown Miami that fact became very apparent. Jeter seemed to be progressing in upping the talent level throughout the entire baseball operation but his weak “woke” statement will further reduce the supposed My-am-uh fan base. Kudos to the Braves for standing up! Now if they only would find another Biff Pocoroba!

  5. I’m going through this with my Dad. He’s had both doses of vaccine. I haven’t had any and I’m not in a rush. He was invited to a friends house for Easter but wouldn’t go because one of their adult children wasn’t vaccinated and has no plans to get it. I asked him, Why didn’t you go? You’re vaccinated, aren’t you bulletproof now? Crickets chirping, *smh*.

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