To mandate or not mandate? Greater access to COVID-19 vaccine raises ethical questions in sports world

ASU football coach Herm Edwards says he believes it isn’t his right to direct athletes as to take the vaccine or avoid it./Creative Commons

By Koki Riley | Cronkite News

The improved access of the COVID-19 vaccine has raised interesting ethical question in the sports world, including should getting the vaccine, as Georgia coach Kirby Smart is here, be mandated and should athletes be prioritized. 

Andrew Wiggins doesn’t want it. Monty Williams isn’t sure. And Herm Edwards already has it but thinks the decision should be left to the individual.

These diverging opinions about the COVID-19 vaccine hint at how life has changed since March of 2020, when the virus put the world on lockdown and threw sports at every level into chaos.

Since that time, sports have resumed but in an atypical fashion. But what once seemed like a plot from a science fiction novel is now reality, not just for Arizona franchises but for teams, clubs and leagues around the globe, forcing the sports world to face difficult decisions about the ethics of the vaccine and the complexities surrounding it.

The COVID-19 vaccine, three types of which are approved for use in the United States, is going into arms around the planet, and it is a potential game changer in sports.


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