The NBA is fighting an uphill battle against its own unvaccinated players.
Though not restricted by the same mandates as Kyrie Irving, Denver Nuggets forward Michael Porter, Jr. has received backlash for voicing an untampered opinion on not getting vaccinated.
Porter spoke with The Ringer on his decision to remain unvaxxed, and how he’s more reliant on data behind natural immunity.
“My main thing is: We don’t have years and years of data for how it can affect you,” Porter told The Ringer. “So for me, I know I’m immune to COVID right now — more immune than a lot of people with the vaccine are. I’ve had it twice. I’ve got the antibodies, all those things. It’s just laying off on it for now. I’m not against the vaccine. What I’m against is not allowing other people to have a choice, or people trying to force it on other people.”
Former Atlanta Hawks guard Brandon Goodwin recently made headlines for admitting that the blood clots that ended his 2020 season came from getting vaccinated. Porter and Kyrie, both max contract level players, are using their platform to encourage fellow players to acknowledge the data and getting past the hinderances of the pandemic.
As reported by OutKick’s Anthony Farris, Porter previously addressed his unvaccinated status — deeming it a response to getting COVID and essentially feeling little effect — enough to forego vaccination.
“For me, I had COVID twice, I saw how my body reacted, and although the chances are slim, with the vaccine, there’s a chance you could have a bad reaction to it,” Porter said. “For me, I don’t feel comfortable.”
MPJ signed a five-year, $207 million extension with the Nuggets in September, rounding out the core four in Denver’s lineup — featuring Jamal Murray, Nikola Jokić and Aaron Gordon. In 2020-21, Porter, Jr. averaged 19 points, 7.3 rebounds and hit 44.5 percent from 3-point range.
Follow along on Twitter: @AlejandroAveela