I have sat back and watched the NFL’s stance on the pandemic and the vaccine and I have decided to weigh in. This has gone far enough. While others in and around the game are softening their stance and backing off their previous statements, I am going to throw gas.
I will take a bullet before I take the vaccine, because I trust more what is in the bullet than I do what is in the vaccine. I also do not like or appreciate how the vaccine is being pushed on people in general whether they are in the game or not.
I have grown up with choices in America. That is what it means to be American. I have had the choice to use a condom, get a flu shot, wear a seat belt, whether or not to drink and drive, who to vote for – – or to vote at all. This is America and the moment something gets pushed or me or worse yet – I am forced to do something against my will, this ceases to be America. I could not believe it when the Buffalo Bills said back in April that fans needed to be vaccinated to attend games and I was shocked when Bills’ GM Brandon Beane said he “would be willing to cut an unvaccinated player.” That is the most un-American statement I have heard in my 47 years. The Bills have since backed down on that dictatorial position.
The powers to be know they cannot cross that line for that very reason, so they are instead pushing right up against that line in other manipulative ways. The “pressure” I am hearing from some head coaches and people in power positions in the NFL is absolutely pushing up against that line. The strong peer pressure, the encouragement to get “the proper information” and all these other techniques are pushing right up against that line. The “selfless” shaming is pushing up against that line with all the guilt-based “you are doing it to protect others around you,” is definitely also pushing up against that line.
A lot more is at stake here than the corona-virus. Our freedom is at stake (and possibly our lives depending on what really is in the vaccine) and I do not trust what comes out of my television as gospel truth, especially “information” laced in human bias and agendas. I do not trust where big money is to be made. It sure is funny they have been working on a “cure” for cancer and AIDS for decades, but they pulled this vaccine out of a rabbit’s hat in a matter of months.
And now conveniently this new “Delta Variant” comes out when only 56% of Americans ages 12 and up have been vaccinated (CDC July 19, 2021). Interesting timing – – or is it another fear-based strong-arm tactic to get more people pressured into getting vaccinated (with a vaccine they are now even saying does not avoid getting the virus)?
I for one am not going to sit down and watch late night television four years from now and hear some law firm say, “If you or a loved one took the vaccine, you may be entitled to compensation.” No thank you. As someone who has been around and worked with several of the top minds in NFL history, no thank you.
From day one of the outbreak last year, my wife, Samantha and I did not wear a mask unless we were forced to in a grocery store or something. Speaking on behalf of myself, I hated wearing a mask. It irritated the hell out of me internally. It felt so wrong to me to be forced to do anything against my will. I felt this feeling of strong strain inside my head. In fact it is the first time as an adult I have ever been forced to do anything against my will. My Dad had taught me that it is not healthy to breathe in my own breath (carbon monoxide), so I always pulled my mask down under my nose in places that required it. I did it because I did not want to breathe in carbon dioxide and I did it as a form of protest. We also never practiced social distancing and we never spent one day quarantining ourselves. We walked around the city where we live by faith every night. We never watched the news and we did our best to maintain our normal, regular lives in the midst of living in a world we no longer recognized. I have also faced a few confrontations with people who tried to get in my face about my choice not to have a mask on. All of it felt and continues to feel inherently wrong to me – – and Samantha. Our position is if it is our time to go, it is our time. Our trust is in God, not in a mask, not in a vaccine, not in the news and not in the CDC.
I just felt maybe there is someone out there who is feeling the pressure to comply and I wanted you to know you still have free will and you do not have to do anything you do not want to — no matter who pressures you to do it and no matter how much they pressure you. I wanted you to know you are not alone. Even though I do not know you, I love you enough to encourage you not to take the vaccine if you feel it is violating your free will (or if you are feeling pressured) and remember all any of us know about any of this is what we are being told. Is it the truth?
As a former scout with the New York Jets, I desire a second chance in the NFL more than I can describe, but I will not take the vaccine to do it. Even outside of that, if I am told I can not travel or buy or sell without it, I will not take the vaccine.
This is where I draw the line —
Daniel Kelly is a former NFL scout with the New York Jets. He was hired on the regime which featured Bill Parcells, Bill Belichick, Scott Pioli, Mike Tannenbaum, and Dick Haley. He currently writes for Sports Illustrated Detroit Lions and he is a contributing evaluator for Draft Diamonds. For more information about him visit his website at whateverittakesbook.com. He can be followed on Twitter @danielkellybook and his Facebook page is WHATEVER IT TAKES NFL TALK.