Public/Global Health

Patriots’ Belichick clarifies vaccine comments: No player released due to ‘vaccination status’

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New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick clarified comments he made about COVID-19 vaccines, stating that no players have been released because of their vaccinations status.

The remarks come about a week after the Patriots cut quarterback Cam Newton, who was not vaccinated. It also came days after Bellichick said the NFL had had a lot of players who were vaccinated get COVID-19.

“I just wanted to take a second to clarify an answer to a question I gave the other day relative to vaccinations. No player has been released or kept because of their vaccination status. That’s not part of the equation,” Belichick told reporters at a press conference on Monday, USA Today reported. 

Belichick also said that while no players who were cut from the team in the previous week were released due to their vaccination status, the team would be better off with a fully vaccinated roster.

“My comment relative to vaccinations, really, the way I feel, that’s an individual decision for each person to make. As a team, we’re better off if everyone is vaccinated,” he said.

NFL teams could be forced to play without players who are unvaccinated and are in contact with people who get COVID-19. Teams could also be forced to forfeit games if they run short of players.

Belichick’s comments come after the league commissioner’s office last week revised its COVID-19 protocol memo, advising that vaccinated players should be tested weekly for the virus.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Atlanta Falcons are the only two teams in the league that have all their players vaccinated.  

Buccaneers star quarterback Tom Brady recently shared to the Tampa Bay Times that he tested positive for the novel virus in February, after celebrating his team’s Super Bowl victory. 

ESPN reporter Field Yates shared that the Miami Dolphins placed tight end Adam Shaheen and offensive tackle Austin Jackson on their COVID-19 reserve list on Monday. 

Tags #coronavirus #2019nCoV #covid19 Bill Belichick Boston Massachusetts New England Patriots NFL

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