Boston Celtics: COVID-19 is team’s toughest opponent in 2021-22 season

Jaylen Brown #7 of the Boston Celtics (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Jaylen Brown #7 of the Boston Celtics (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /
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Boston Celtics
Boston Celtics President of Basketball Operations Brad Stevens. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /

The Boston Celtics are not 100 percent vaccinated.

Though Smart and Tatum both got jabbed, their views on the issues are similar, believing that everyone should make their own decision regarding vaccination. Smart did not want to face the repercussions of possibly being side-lined for games or even the entire season and therefore got the vaccine.

Brad Stevens, the new GM/old head coach, recently admitted that not every Celtic is vaccinated.

Other players are more vocal in their beliefs and refusal to get injected, notably Jonathan Isaac and Kyrie Irving. In a well-articulated interview, Isaac made it clear that his decision not to get vaccinated was personal and not out of disbelief in science. Irving also has the same views. It’s been made clear that Irving being side-lined is an issue of the state of New York, not the league.

As fans, we heavily criticize sports-related decisions of our favorite and not-so-favorite teams/players.

Do we live in a time where we are allowed to openly bash/bully players into making certain decisions about a much bigger issue? Are we selfish if we plead with players to go against their wishes to have a chance at a championship? Should we be treated as renegades if we allow players to adopt a more passive/rejecting stance against social issues? Are fans capable of separating their true motives to see their team succeed and advocate for players’ rights?

According to the numbers, vaccination in itself seems like it would be the safe thing to do. Vaccine efficacy for both Moderna and Pfizer-borne vaccines are reaching 95%, with both vaccine efficacies extending beyond this number when it comes to the prevention of severe illness.

Yet, the numbers are not convincing to all. Kind-hearted sports personalities and many other famous figures are being shunned because they decided not to get vaccinated.

When I joined my internship in medical school, the last thing I thought I would do was be a part of medical teams treating patients affected by COVID-19. I have worked in the general ward, where I have witnessed patients suddenly require admission in the intensive care unit in their thirties. I have also seen patients who I never thought would leave the intensive care unit make miraculous recoveries.

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I have had many casual conversations with other medical professionals while not wearing masks, only to find out the person I spoke with later tested positive.  Apart from a couple of weeks of anxiety, I was fine.

When the vaccine was announced in India, I took it. I have not gotten COVID-19 thus far (knock on wood) even after plenty of exposure to COVID-19 patients both before and after vaccination.

As fans, let’s support everyone in the growing NBA family while being cognizant of differing opinions. After all, are we allowed to act as healthcare proxies for players?