Red Sox Pitcher, NFL Analyst Latest Victims of Vax Status

John Simmons | April 19, 2022
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Tanner Houck is a starting pitcher for the Boston Red Sox, and Mel Kiper Jr. analyzes the NFL Draft for ESPN. What do they have in common?

Both these men are unvaccinated, and both will not be able to do their jobs as a result.

Houck and the Red Sox will visit the Toronto Blue Jays on April 26th in Canada, but Houck will not make the trip due to not having gotten the jab. The MLB does not require that players get vaccinated, but socialist-minded Canada still wants its citizens and anyone who enters to have at least two doses of a long list of vaccines. But while Houck is certainly disappointed that he will not be able to help guide his team to victory, he remains steadfast in his decision that getting vaccinated is a personal choice (which of course, it is). 

Tanner Houck tells the Globe that he’s not vaccinated against COVID-19. Because of Canada’s vaccine mandate, Houck won’t be able to pitch next Tuesday in Toronto.

“I think it’s a personal choice for everyone whether they get it or not,” Houck said

— Julian McWilliams (@byJulianMack) April 17, 2022

Several other Boston players will not be able to make the trip to Canada because of their vaccination status as well

Kiper faces a similar conundrum with the NFL Draft set for April 28th through the 30th in Las Vegas, NV. Due to the fact that he is not vaccinated, Kiper will have to report from his home studio in Maryland, marking just the second time he has done his reporting virtually since he began this role in 1984 (the other being in 2020).

Kiper said that the decision was based on his past medical history, but was not very specific as to what medical condition made him wary of getting the vaccine.

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"I completely support everyone determining whats best for their individual circumstances and recognize the value of vaccines," he said via Twitter. "Simply put, my Covid vaccination decision is very specific to my own personal medical history."

I am looking forward to being part of the 2022 NFL Draft, my 39th for ESPN

— Mel Kiper Jr. (@MelKiperESPN) April 18, 2022

While the cost for this decision might be some short term loss, both these men are making the right decision for the long term. Until they want to take the vaccine, no one should force them - or anyone else - to do so.