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NBA Star Bradley Beal Discusses COVID Vaccine At Media Day: ‘It’s A Personal Choice Between Everybody’
WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 27: Bradley Beal #3 of the Washington Wizards poses during media day at Entertainment & Sports Arena on September 27, 2021 in Washington, DC. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
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Washington Wizards star Bradley Beal was forced to miss the Tokyo Olympics after being placed in COVID health and safety protocols. At Wizards Media Day on Monday, Beal said that he was not vaccinated and discussed his experience with COVID as well as his decision to not receive the vaccine. 

Beal was the second-leading scorer in the NBA last season, is the eleventh ranked player in the NBA by ESPN, and is now the most high profile NBA player to say he has not received the vaccine.

“It’s a personal choice between everybody. 100%. I understand both sides of it,” Beal said. “I understand that there is a percentage of people who can get very sick. I didn’t get sick. I didn’t get sick at all. I lost my smell but that was it for me. Everybody is going to react different. Everybody is going to take it differently.”

“I mean, some people have bad reactions to the vaccine. Nobody likes to talk about that. What happens if one of our players gets the vaccine and they can’t play after that? Or they have complications after that? Because there are cases like that. But I feel like we don’t talk about those as heavily because they’re so minute, maybe? But they are existent.” 

The topic of vaccination status around the league was front and center on Monday as NBA teams returned for media days. 

As The Daily Wire reported, Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving was not present at his team’s media day, though he did call in via zoom. 

“You gotta make sure you respect the privacy,” Irving said. “I don’t want to create any more drama, that’s not what I’m here for. I’m going to continue to inspire and lead in the right way. Don’t say I never did anything for y’all. I hope y’all enjoyed that.”

Beal went on to discuss the vaccine, questioning why there are those that still test positive for COVID even after being vaccinated. 

“Every player, every person in this world is going to make their own decision for themselves,” Beal said. “I would like an explanation to people with the vaccines … ‘why are they still getting COVID?’ If that’s something that we are supposed to highly be protected from. It’s funny that … ‘oh it reduces your chances of going to the hospital.’ It doesn’t eliminate anybody from getting COVID. Right?”

“Is everybody here vaxxed?” Beal asked the media in the room. “I would assume, right? So you all can still get COVID, right?”

“We’re less likely to die or go to the hospital,” a reporter in the crowd responded. 

“Ok. But you can still get COVID, and you can still pass it along with the vax. Right?”

Beal was asked if having COVID in the past has influenced his decision to not receive the vaccine. 

“No, no, no. That wasn’t the case,” Beal said. “Ya I had it but that doesn’t mean I can’t get it again. It’s no different than somebody with the vaccine. Yes, I developed the antibodies for it so my chances will be less likely now as well. But it’s still a possibility I may get it. Just like there are players and coaches and staff who are vaxxed and missing camp right now because of it.”

Beal’s comments on COVID and the vaccine come as NBA teams prepare for training camps. Wizards training camp begins Tuesday, September 28. Opening night of the NBA regular season tips off October 19.

Joe Morgan is the Sports Reporter for The Daily Wire. Most recently, Morgan covered the Clippers, Lakers, and the NBA for Sporting News. Send your sports questions to

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