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‘Your body, your choice’: Why Ted Cruz is supporting NBA players over the coronavirus vaccine

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz says he supports NBA players who don’t want to get the vaccine

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, speaks during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington.
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, speaks during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing to examine Texas’s abortion law on Wednesday, Sept. 29, 2021 on Capitol Hill in Washington. Cruz shared support for four NBA players and their decision to not get the coronavirus vaccine.
Tom Williams, Associated Press

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, shared support for four NBA players and their decision to not get the coronavirus vaccine.

Cruz, who is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, said he supported Golden State Warriors forward Andrew Wiggins, Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving, Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal and Orlando Magic forward Jonathan Isaac.

His tweet read:

“I stand with Kyrie Irving.

“I stand with Andrew Wiggins.

“I stand with Bradley Beal.

“I stand with Jonathan Isaac.

“#NBA

“#YourBodyYourChoice”

Cruz is acknowledging some of the most outspoken players when it comes to the COVID-19 vaccine.

  • Wiggins asked for a religious exemption from the vaccine but the request was denied.
  • Irving has been liking Instagram posts related to vaccine conspiracy theories, per Rolling Stone.
  • Isaac said he supports the COVID-19 vaccine, but individuals can make their own decisions. Rolling Stone reported he didn’t support the vaccine for himself after watching speeches by former President Donald Trump.
  • Bradley Beal said he is still considering getting the vaccine. According to ESPN, Beal told reporters they can still get COVID-19 even if they’re vaccinated, suggesting that the vaccine doesn’t do well to protect people from the virus.

The COVID-19 vaccine has been a source of contention in the NBA recently. It began last week when the NBA denied a request by Wiggins for a religious exemption for the vaccination. This immediately raised questions about Wiggins’ eligibility to play for the Warriors at home because San Francisco requires vaccines for some workers, as I wrote for the Deseret News.

Then came the Rolling Stone piece that reveals some conspiracy theories — such as one where “‘secret societies’ are implanting vaccines in a plot to connect Black people to a master computer for ‘a plan of Satan,’” per Rolling Stone — are circulating through the NBA.

That said, about 90% of NBA players are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to reports. And some stars, like Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James, have spoken about why they got vaccinated.

  • “I think everyone has they own choice — to do what they feel is right for themselves and their family and things of that nature,” he said. “I know that I was very (skeptical) about it all but after doing my research, I felt like it was best suited for not only me but for my family and my friends.”