The three-time NBA all star spoke with reporters during his team’s media day, where he revealed that he hasn’t been vaccinated for “personal reasons.”
“I don’t feel pressure [to get vaccinated],” Beal said, per Wizards insider Quinton Mayo. “I don’t think you can pressure anybody into doing things, or putting things in their body.”
Baxter Holmes and Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN have reported that the NBA doesn’t have any plans to mandate vaccines for players, but unvaccinated players will have stricter protocols and different travel arrangements. Unvaccinated players will still be tested for COVID on a daily basis. According to the league, 85% of players were vaccinated by the end of last season, and those who are not vaccinated must wear masks at team facilities and during travel, and cannot be seated directly next to another player.
“I have people very close to me that are vaccinated. Parents, brothers, etc. I understand both sides,” Beal added. “Some people have bad reactions to the vaccine, nobody wants to talk about that.”
Beal also argued that you can still get COVID and still pass it along if vaccinated.
“I would ask the question to those who are getting vaccinated ‘why are you still getting COVID?’” Beal asked. And while teammate Kyle Kuzma said he won’t share his vaccination status, arguing that “certain things in health should be personal,” people were quick to criticize Beal and his stance.