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Chicago Cubs' Anthony Rizzo announces he's not getting the COVID-19 vaccine
The first baseman said he is "definitely not against getting it" but wants to take "some more time to see the data in all of it."
Rizzo, a cancer survivor, acknowledged the controversial aspect of his decision but said he needs to put himself first.
"I love my teammates and love this franchise," he said on Friday. "This is bigger than baseball. This is a life decision."
Rizzo said he spent a lot of time weighing his options but ultimately feels he made the right choice by waiting.
"It's a decision I made and I stand with, and obviously there are people that are going to hate me and think I'm disgusting," he said. "And there are going to be people that side with me, but it's out in the open."
ESPN reported that the baseball player didn't say specifically what was holding him back from getting the jab, although he did acknowledge its benefits.
"There's a lot of lives being saved from this vaccine," he said, according to ESPN. "There's a lot of people getting back to their normal life. That's what we want."
The outlet noted that Rizzo's teammate Javier Baez has been a vocal advocate of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Baez said he and Rizzo discussed his decision and that he supports Rizzo's choice in the matter.
"He just doesn't believe in it right now, and we respect his decision. ... The vaccine was made pretty fast, and a lot of people don't believe in it," Baez said, citing what makes many hesitant to get the shot.
He added, "I got vaccinated because I have kids and want to protect them."
The Chicago Cubs are one of the teams in Major League Baseball that haven't hit the 85 percent vaccination threshold put forward by the league, according to ESPN.