Kelce has appeared in commercials for Pfizer, promoting its COVID-19 vaccine
Irving missed parts of the 2021-22 season due to New York law and the Nets
NFL star Travis Kelce is ‘one of the biggest pieces of s***’ for promoting Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, while the NBA’s Kyrie Irving was wrongly vilified for opposing the jab, according to controversial UFC fighter Colby Covington.
The Trump-obsessed 35-year-old mixed martial artist has been doing the media rounds since Saturday’s unanimous-decision loss to Leon Edwards in UFC 296 – a defeat he’s repeatedly blamed on judges’ supposed hatred for the 45th President of the United States.
Covington went down his usual list of conservative themes in this week’s appearance of the PBD podcast episode, saying he pities NBA players who aren’t allowed to speak their minds.
‘NBA is not a free league. Like, I have guys that have reached out to me on Instagram from the NBA,’ Covington claimed.
‘They’re like, man, we appreciate what you’re standing up for Colby but we can’t say the same thing because then we’ll lose our livelihood. Then we won’t have our checks to pay for our houses and pay for our food on the table for our families.’
Colby Covington took some time off from MMA to weigh in on vaccines and freedom of speech
Chiefs star Travis Kelce appeared in commercials for Pfizer, promoting its COVID-19 vaccine
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Covington isn’t the first athlete to make this claim against the NBA.
Previously, former NBA center Enes Kanter accused the league of blackballing him over his criticism of Nike’s labor practices, as well as the league’s business relationship with China.
‘I mean, look at what they did to Kyrie Irving,’ Covington continued, referencing the Dallas Mavericks star who previously was forced to sit during the pandemic over his refusal to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
‘They painted him out in the street like he was the biggest villain of all time,’ Covington continued. ‘The guy just believes in free speech, believes in his own right to choose what he should do with his body. My body, my choice.’
Covington’s explanation of Irving’s situation omitted several key facts.
First, the NBA did not suspend Irving in 2021-22.
Rather, Irving’s refusal to get vaccinated put him in violation of local New York City workplace regulations at the time, meaning he couldn’t play home games for his team, the Brooklyn Nets.
Irving was never actually suspended by the NBA for refusing to get vaccinated against COVID
Furthermore, the Nets banned Irving from road games for a portion of the 2021-22 season, citing a desire to avoid relying on part-time players. However, the Nets ultimately relented, allowing Irving to suit up for road games before New York City changed its COVID-era policies, allowing Irving to suit up at Barclays Center.
To Covington, the real villain in sports is Kelce, who made a reported $20 million to endorse Pfizer.
‘He’s not like a guy like Travis Kelce out there who’s believing in: ”Oh, I’m paid off by Pfizer; guys, get two shots at the same time, that’s the healthiest thing you could ever do with your life.”
Covington appears to be referencing the CDC’s recent recommendation that it is safe to get a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and the flu vaccine at the same time.
‘Dude, two shots?’ Covington continued. I’ didn’t get the vaccine, I don’t believe in [the] vaccine, but I’m not against someone that does believe in [the] vaccine.’
‘If you do get the vaccine, you should probably just get one at a time because if there’s an adverse and wrong effect in it, then how are you going to know which one’s the cause of it if you’re getting two at the same time?’ Covington asked. ‘That’s irresponsible. Travis Kelce is one of the biggest pieces of s*** of all time the fact that he’s advising people to do that.
‘You know he’s not doing it, he’s just telling people to do it because he’s getting paid off and bought for by Pfizer. It’s disgusting.’
UFC welterweight champion Leon Edwards, left, celebrates after being declared the winner
Covington went on to make the baseless claim that LeBron James’ son, Bronny, suffered a cardiac arrest due to the COVID-19 vaccine after doctors ruled that the medical emergency was the result of a congenital heart defect.
‘You never heard about that 10, 20 years ago before these Jabs came out.’
While vaccines do carry have some negative ramifications, experts have generally agreed that being vaccinated against COVID-19 outweighs those risks.
Furthermore, cardiologists have told the AP that there have long been instances of athletes suffering cardiac arrest before the COVID-19 pandemic.
In fact, a study published by The American Heart Association in November found that over a 20-year period through 2022, the rates of sudden cardiac arrest among athletes actually declined by abut 29 percent every five years.
Among 1,102 cases of death among college athletes, the study did not find a single case of death due to COVID-19-related myocarditis.