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Bradley Beal Reportedly Receives COVID-19 Vaccination

bradley beal covid-19 vaccine

Washington Wizards All-NBA shooting guard had been one of the more prominent NBA players to publicly state that he had not been vaccinated against COVID-19, but that has reportedly changed according to Ava Wallace of the Washington Post. Beal had entered health and safety protocols two days before Christmas on December 23. 

The report comes as a surprise to many fans who recall his comments about COVID-19 vaccinations at Wizards media day in early October in which he rhetorically asked “I would ask the question to those who are getting vaccinated ‘why are you still getting COVID?’” 

Beal clarified his stance later in the interview, making it clear that he was considering getting a vaccine and was not coming from an anti-vaccination perspective. As an unvaccinated player, Beal was subject to increased testing frequency and expected to abide by more strict health and safety protocols, especially during travel. Perhaps he decided he would rather get the jab and enjoy the positive freedoms it would afford him than continue with frequent testing and restrictions on what he could do and who he could see throughout the season.

Beal’s newly vaccinated status also comes at an ideal time in his home market of Washington DC. While there had been no vaccine requirements in the city up to this point, the city recently instituted a mandate for indoor entertainment facilities amidst the recent nationwide surge in positive cases, which includes the Wizards’ home stadium Capital One Arena. The requirement takes effect on January 15th of 2022 and will require all patrons aged 12 or older to have received at least one dose of an approved COVID-19 vaccine. 

Had Beal not chosen to receive a vaccine, the mandate would have put him in a similar situation to the Brooklyn Nets’ Kyrie Irving where he would not have been permitted to play in the team’s home games. Beal was sent to health and safety protocols but it is unclear whether he has actually contracted COVID-19 or was merely exposed, which is enough to enter health and safety protocols for unvaccinated players. 

The Wizards have gone 1-2 in Beal’s absence despite Spencer Dinwiddie quite nearly averaging 20 points and 10 assists over the stretch and notching two double-doubles. The Wizards have been on a bit of a slide recently after an extremely strong start to the season and currently sit at 17-17, good for eighth in the Eastern Conference. Here’s to hoping Beal’s return is the catalyst for a winning streak.

All statistics courtesy of ESPN and Pro-Basketball-Reference.

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