N.F.L. Vaccine Holdouts Face Training Camp Scrutiny

N.F.L. Vaccine Holdouts Face Training Camp Scrutiny
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N.F.L. Vaccine Holdouts Face Training Camp Scrutiny

N.F.L. Vaccine Holdouts Face Training Camp Scrutiny

About 70% of NFL players are black, a racial group that is already wary of the vaccine and has limited access to it, and whose members are being killed by the virus at a higher rate. According to the CDC and the Kaiser Family Foundation, only 41% of people who have received the vaccine nationwide are people of color. Distrust among some NFL players mimics societal trends, Golden said.

“We don’t know their experiences of growing or interacting with the health care system,” Golden said. “Just because they’re athletes doesn’t mean their lived experience doesn’t matter, and I think we have to recognize that.”

The Denver Broncos were one of the first NFL teams to vaccinate 85% of their players, thanks to a lot of education, discussion and communication, said George Paton, team general manager.

Last season, Dr Michelle Barron, senior medical director of infection prevention at UCHealth, advised the franchise on issues related to Covid. As the vaccine became widely available this spring, she conducted briefings with the team and privately with the families of the players upon request. She also helped coordinate a vaccination clinic in April at the Broncos facilities. Their vaccination rate did not surprise her, she said.

“From the feedback I received, the important thing for them was to feel that they had the information, so that they could digest it, and then come back and ask intelligent questions,” Barron said in an interview. Thursday.

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As training camp progresses, unvaccinated players battling for places on the roster may face challenges. Beasley told a press conference that unvaccinated young players told him they feared being cut. Ballard, the Colts general manager, said these decisions are made on a case-by-case basis, but the vaccination issue has made the process more difficult, especially for free agents whose unvaccinated status would mean they would have to be tested. more often. Either way, he said he would try to assess fairly.

“Whoever wins the job on the pitch is the one who makes the team,” Ballard said. “I’m not going to take a player just because he’s vaccinated who hasn’t won the job. What message are you sending to your locker room? “

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