Stephen A Smith Rips Athletes Who Say The COVID Vaccine Is ‘A Private Matter’: ‘You’re Not Living A Private Life, That’s Ridiculous’

Stephen A. Smith has been vocal regarding his belief that people in the United States should get one of the three COVID-19 vaccines. On Tuesday’s episode of First Take, Smith and Marcus Spears (who, likewise, wants people to get the vaccine) went through some of the thoughts they have regarding unvaccinated players.

Spears, along with host Molly Qerim Rose, brought up that there are legitimate, competitive reasons for teams to only want vaccinated players on their teams, citing things like the more relaxed protocols the NFL has in place for vaccinated athletes.

“If you’re vaccinated, it’s cut in half, the time you have to sit out,” Spears said. “That’s the bottom line, that’s the reality of the rules in the NFL. If you’re not, you’re 10 days, it’s gonna be 10 days, regardless. And 10 days is gonna cost you a game — unless you’re potentially in a bye week — or two.”

Smith, meanwhile, said that while he understands this is something that has to be vaccinated between the NFL and the Players Association, if he were in Roger Goodell’s shoes, he would invoke a “best interests of the league” clause and unvaccinated players wouldn’t play.

“The reality is that if you end up testing positive, you can have an effect on somebody else,” Smith said. “We all understand, if you’re vaccinated, you can still catch COVID. But people forget the crisis about COVID-19, believe it or not, wasn’t just being unvaccinated, wasn’t just the virus, wasn’t just that some people were dying. The problem was you didn’t have medical facilities available, you didn’t have personal protective equipment, you didn’t have all of those things. There was a shortage — there’s a shortage of hospital space, there’s a shortage of beds, there’s a shortage of doctors. That’s why this was so pivotal, because you didn’t have the people to treat you. That’s what made it so catastrophic as well. So if you’re vaccinated, chances are you don’t have to go to the hospital. You can go home, you’re gonna feel sick, but you can recover because you already have the vaccine.”

Smith went on to talk about how sports leagues are private industries that don’t owe athletes the right to play, before turning his ire to athletes who pass on getting the vaccine.

“I think it’s shameful when athletes talk about, ‘Oh, it’s a private matter,'” Smith said. “It is not a private matter, because it affects anybody that’s standing right next to you. You’re not living a private life, that’s ridiculous.

“If I hear one more person, Molly, if I hear one more person, Marcus, talk to me about, ‘What’s in the vaccine?’ I might slap ’em with my phone,” Smith continued.

To close, Smith called out the hypocrisy of people getting other vaccines over their lives, like the flu shot and chicken pox, along with the various vitamins and supplements they pick up, saying no one Googles the ingredients of these sorts of things.

“These people, we go to the doctor, we’re feeling sick, the doctor prescribes the medicine, we go to the CVS, Rite Aid, or something, we pick it up, and we take the medicine,” Smith said. “Why all of a sudden, we actin’ like, ‘Oh, we dissecting and picking apart, one ingredient after another.” It’s the biggest damn lie imaginable, they’re full of it.

“I tell you right now, the NFL, I’m glad the NFL’s made it inconvenient for unvaccinated people,” Smith closed. “I’m glad the NFL and the NBA, I’m sorry, have stepped it up. If it were me, they wouldn’t even be allowed to play.”