NBA on TNT halftime anchors Kenny Smith and Charles Barkley have long engaged in petty arguments over the smallest of things to entertain viewers of one of the most progressive sports leagues on the planet. On Tuesday night, they were at it again, this time over Kyrie Irving’s vaccination stance.
Kenny Smith said he “empathizes” with Irving’s discomfort with choosing to get the vaccine, but Barkley feels differently. Barkley said that Irving’s decision was selfish and that when you choose to get the vaccine, “you don’t get the vaccine for yourself, you get it for other people.”
Mind you, most things that Barkley says should be taken with a grain of salt, and his comments on Tuesday were no different.
Barkley’s statement implies that getting the vaccine somehow keeps other people from getting COVID-19 and that once you are vaccinated, you erase the risk of yourself getting sick with coronavirus.
Well, we know that vaccinated does not mean immune, and it certainly does not do anything to 100 percent ensure other people’s safety.
Cleveland Clinic infectious disease specialist Lyssette Cardona, MD, said that there is still a chance that vaccinated people could get COVID-19, which means that you can still spread it to anyone you meet. Can it help your immune system in the physical battle against COVID? Sure. But is it a magical cure that will remove sickness for good? No.
So “getting it for other people” seems like a weak argument to use when criticizing another person for their decision. This argument is emotion-driven and not based on the reality that no matter what decision we all make, sickness and COVID-19 are just a byproduct of an imperfect world, and there is nothing we can do to fully eliminate it.
It sounds like anyone who uses this reasoning, including Barkley, is simply too scared of being sick to continue to live a normal life, and further needs everyone else to cater to their emotional needs. And that is more selfish than someone not getting the COVID jab because of personal preference.
Getting a vaccine is simply a matter of personal choice, nothing more, nothing less. Kyrie Irving is perfectly within his rights as an individual to not get the vaccine, and no one should coerce him into changing his mind, not even the great Round Mound of Rebound.