Wizards

Beal explains why he got vaccinated for coronavirus

Wizards

WASHINGTON -- Despite the timing of when Bradley Beal got vaccinated for the coronavirus and D.C. government's announcement of a citywide vaccine mandate, the Wizards' star shooting guard says his decision was unrelated. He was reluctant to get a COVID-19 vaccine for months and ultimately budged because of his family.

Beal gave a brief explanation on Thursday night after the Wizards' win over the Cavaliers. He first only said "my family" when asked for the reason and indicated he didn't want to share more about it.

A series of follow-up questions brought out more detail.

"I'm more concerned about my father and my family. The last thing I want to do is see him in the hospital on a table. If that helps, then I'll do it. But I still have a lot of questions and concerns about it, for sure," Beal said.

Beal was referring to health issues his father has battled in recent years, suggesting he has an underlying condition that would compromise his immunity to COVID-19. According to the CDC, COVID-19 vaccines can limit the spread of the virus in addition to reducing the chances for infection, serious illness and death.

Beal said several times during his postgame press conference he still has questions about the vaccine. On media day in September, he spoke at length about his apprehension to get vaccinated, saying he had consulted with Wizards doctors and planned to continue doing so. He did not completely rule out getting the vaccine at a later date.

 

In addition to D.C.'s mandate, there were other factors for Beal to consider. Beginning Jan. 15, unvaccinated players on away teams won't be able to travel to play the Toronto Raptors due to Canada's own mandate. That could have affected Beal if they faced the Raptors in the playoffs.

The NBA also has different guidelines for those who are vaccinated and unvaccinated. Beal, for instance, recently had to miss three games due to contact tracing. He said he continued to test negative, yet was prevented from playing.

Those things did not sway Beal, however, as he explained. It was a matter of protecting his family. It is an added bonus he now doesn't have to worry about the extra restrictions and how his status could affect the Wizards.