Former NBA star Shaquille O’Neal is joining the chorus of voices opposing vaccine mandates.
Speaking on his show, “The Big Podcast with Shaq,” O’Neal urged people to “be safe” and make wise decisions for themselves and their families, but argued no one should be “forced” to take the therapeutic shots.
“There’s some people that don’t wanna take it,” the famous athlete said. “And you shouldn’t have to be forced to take something you don’t want.”
One of O’Neal’s co-hosts, Nischelle Turner, very vehemently disagreed with the basketball player. She argued that employers requiring staffers to be vaccinated against COVID-19 is not forcing people to take the shots.
O’Neal, who previously criticized Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving for refusing to get inoculated against COVID-19, telling the athlete to “be selfless,” said that placing people’s livelihoods on the line is, in fact, “force.”
Turner stood her ground, telling O’Neal that, if employees don’t want to follow the rules put in place by their respective companies, they are welcome to quit.
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The discussion came in response to the news that two New York-based nurses, Julie DeVouno and Marissa Urraro, reportedly made some $1.5 million printing fake vaccination cards, according to CBS News. The two Long Island health care providers have been arrested.
O’Neal said he can understand why the nurses did what they did — even though he believes it’s wrong — because many people have been pushed to their wits’ end as companies (and the federal government, before the Supreme Court blocked President Joe Biden’s vaccination edict) are forcing individuals to go “against [their] morals.”
“I’m with you on the rules because I’m a rules guy,” O’Neal told Turner, referring to the fact that people shouldn’t deceptively bypass the restrictions put in place by their employers. “But I do feel sympathetic towards people who have to make that kind of decision.”
“I don’t,” replied Turner. “Not when you’re putting other people at risk.”
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