By now you know that Celtics All-Star guard Jaylen Brown was diagnosed with Covid-19 and though asymptomatic he must quarantine and remain away from the team for an undetermined amount of time.
What we don’t know is whether Jaylen Brown was vaccinated.
Brown has never publicly stated whether he received a Covid-19 vaccination and the team did not mention it in a press release announcing the news.
This is important to note because the team’s handling of head coach Ime Udoka’s positive COVID-19 result was very different.
Udoka’s positive result came just before the start of training camp. When the team announced he had tested positive during the Celtics’ annual media day on Sept. 27, they had indicated at that time he had been vaccinated prior to the positive reading.
No such indication was made as it relates to Jaylen Brown.
Brown himself was vague in his response when asked about it last month at Celtics Media Day but hinted that he is vaccinated.
“I have my own thoughts about it but I respect my teammates’ decisions and things like that,” Brown said of getting the vaccine at the time. “I know everybody has their own opinion about it but I think it’s a personal choice.
“Personally, my closest family members were all vaccinated,” Brown said Sept. 29. “I have family members who are vaccinated, who are concerned with getting the booster shot or multiple booster shots. And I have some people in my family who aren’t vaccinated at all. Just dependent on your situation, your family and how you feel.”
Whether Brown was or was not vaccinated may be irrelevant. Plenty of people who are vaccinated still get infected as the primary function of the vaccine is to reduce the likelihood of severe illness, hospitalization or death and not prevent infection.
But the constant perpetuation by players and many others of the “personal choice” narrative is specious.
As Blakely points out in his column, Brown’s “personal choice” affects his teammates and others around him.
Again, we don’t know Brown’s vaccination status for sure so it’s not fair to judge or assume anything simply by reading into what was or wasn’t said and by whom.
But the potential ramifications of an unvaccinated player or person on the people around them who claim to “respect their personal decision” is not up for debate.
At best an unvaccinated & infected player will have to miss time on the court and not be able to be around his loved ones until the infection clears.
At worst they may have unknowingly spread the illness to others who are vaccinated and have taken every precaution to keep themselves and their loved ones safe, or may be immunocompromised and more susceptible to serious illness.
It’s understandable that no one wants to publicly call out a friend or teammate. But the enabling needs to stop now.
It’s time people stepped up when asked about these so called “personal” decisions of others and exposed them for what they are.
They’re not personal, nor private. They are reckless, irresponsible, selfish and they affect everyone.