Everyone has taken a side now in the COVID vaccine debate. In the past few days the NFL, which is serving as a microcosm of America, has begun to feel like an old Western movie. Only instead of the setting being a dusty field with Clint Eastwood and his adversaries holding twitching fingers over their holsters, this battle is taking place in America’s new Wild West: Twitter.
Not long ago, it seemed like the COVID debate was starting to wind down. Instead, it is just now coming to a head.
The NFL players are on one end of the street, as Thursday was tweet-and-delete day. Players reacted angrily — and then had second thoughts — to a league memo laying out rules that pressure them into getting the vaccine. Roughly, if teams can’t play a game because they have too many positive COVID tests, and a certain number of those tested haven’t gotten the vaccine, then their team could forfeit the game and no one on either team will be paid.
Arizona Cardinals receiver DeAndre Hopkins was the first star to react on Twitter: “Never thought I would say this, But being in a position to hurt my team because I don’t want to partake in the vaccine is making me question my future in the @nfl.”
He later deleted that and wrote “Freedom?”