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Ted Cruz backs NBA players' vaccine status positions

Republican Texas senator also showed support for LeBron James' stance on advocating for others to get the jab​

By Ryan Gaydos

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Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, expressed his support for a handful of NBA players who defended their position on the coronavirus vaccine as well as LeBron James who said he wasn’t going to influence any player or teammate one way or the other on the jab.

Cruz, who has mostly been critical of the NBA and its stance on social justice issues and relationship with China, tweeted Wednesday he stood with Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving, Golden State Warriors guard Andrew Wiggins, Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal and Orlando Magic forward Jonathan Isaac.



The senator wrote he even stood with James on his stance. The Los Angeles Lakers superstar said Tuesday "that’s not my job" when asked whether he felt he needed to publicly advocate for players and others to get the vaccine.

"I think everyone has their own choice to do what they feel is right for themselves and their family," James said, via Yahoo Sports.

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Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James fields questions during the NBA basketball team's Media Day Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2021, in El Segundo, California. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Cruz tweeted he agreed with James and called on the NBA superstar to go even further and say he wouldn’t play anywhere that bans players who haven’t received the vaccine.



Players’ vaccine status was a hot topic at teams’ media day.

Irving asked reporters to respect his privacy when it came to the vaccine. He may not be able to play home games in Brooklyn due to New York City’s mandate for people to prove they have the vaccine before entering enclosed spaces.

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Golden State Warriors forward Andrew Wiggins warms up before the NBA play-in game against the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center. (Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports)

Wiggins was denied a religious exemption to avoid getting the jab. Beal said Monday he understood both sides of getting the vaccine but explained why he didn’t get it. On Tuesday, he said he was considering receiving it after all.

Isaac gave a lengthy response as to why he hadn’t gotten it.

"I am not anti-vax. I’m not anti-medicine. I’m not anti-science. I didn’t come to my current vaccination status by studying Black history or watching Donald Trump press conferences. I have nothing but the utmost respect for every healthcare worker and person in Orlando and all across the world that have worked tirelessly to keep us safe. My mom has worked in healthcare for a really long time. I thank God, I’m grateful that I live in a society where vaccines are possible and we can protect ourselves and have the means to protect ourselves in the first place," he said, via NBC Sports.

"But with that being said, it is my belief that the vaccine status of every person should be their own choice and completely up to them without bullying, without being pressured or without being forced into doing so. I’m not ashamed to say that I’m uncomfortable with taking the vaccine at this time. I think that we’re all different. We all come from different places. We’ve all had different experiences and hold dear to different beliefs. And what it is that you do with your body when it comes to putting medicine in there should be your choice, free of the ridicule and the opinion of others."

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Orlando Magic forward Jonathan Isaac poses for a photo during NBA basketball media day, Monday, Sept. 27, 2021, in Orlando, Florida. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

Isaac said he understood what the vaccine is supposed to do but expressed concerns about having averse reactions. He said it should be up to the individual.

The Athletic reported last week that about 90% of NBA players are vaccinated and the rate has been rising ahead of training camp. Players are not required to get the vaccine.

Link to Article on Fox News
 
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