NBA analyst Charles Barkley said Tuesday that he believes everyone should be vaccinated and that "the only people who are not vaccinated are just a--holes."
He said that he would support the NBA and other sports leagues imposing mandatory vaccine mandates, arguing that the risk that comes with not receiving the vaccine could be detrimental to players and those they are in regular contact with.
“Can you imagine if one of these guys that are not vaccinated, if they get one of these players’ kids, wives, girlfriends, moms and dads sick and they die over some unnecessary conspiracy bulls---,” Barkley said. “I think that would be tragic.”
The NBA Hall-of-Famer said he believes that the athletes should have to follow rules set by their employer, just like people working corporate jobs.
“There’s s--- you can’t do at work and there’s s--- that have to do at work,” Barkley said. “So every workplace has rules and I think one of the rules [should be] that guys have to be vaccinated.”
Currently, 90 percent of NBA players are vaccinated against the coronavirus, which exceeds the vaccination numbers of both the NFL (80 percent) and MLB (85 percent).
The NBA will not be requiring its players to receive the COVID-19 vaccine while the NFL will be penalizing teams who cause a COVID-19 outbreak that results in a cancelled game.
Nearly 158 million Americans, or about 48 percent of the country, are fully vaccinated against the virus, according to the CDC. Approximately 67 percent of U.S. adults have received at least one dose of the vaccine.