Ron Rivera sounds off on COVID-19 vaccine misinformation
Washington Football Team head coach Ron Rivera Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

Washington Football Team coach Ron Rivera sounds off on COVID-19 vaccine misinformation

Washington Football Team head coach Ron Rivera is getting tired of people spreading misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccine. 

In an interview with Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer, Rivera expressed his frustration about Americans listening to people other than their doctors regarding the vaccine. 

"Gen Z is relying on this," Rivera told Breer, referring to a phone. "And you got some, quite frankly, f-----g a--holes that are putting a bunch of misinformation out there, leading people to die. That's frustrating to me, that these people are allowed to have a platform. And then, one specific news agency, every time they have someone on, I'm not a doctor, but the vaccines don't work. Or I'm not an epidemiologist, but vaccines are going to give you a third nipple and make you sterile. Come on. That, to me? That should not be allowed."

It's not surprising that Rivera is this frustrated about the country's lack of progress in getting people vaccinated. Although he has received the vaccine, the 59-year-old has a compromised immune system after battling cancer in 2020. He's at greater risk for higher complications if he contracts the deadly virus. 

Earlier this month, the New York Times reported that nearly 90% of all NFL players had received at least one dose of the vaccine. However, some players are still hesitant, and that reluctance to get the shot is widespread throughout the United States.

According to the Mayo Clinic, only 50.9% of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated, while 59.9% of the population has received at least one dose. Since June 17, there's only been a 6.2% increase in the number of fully vaccinated people in the country. 

The NFL is continuing to promote vaccination among its players, staff members and fans. The league said in a memo earlier this summer that teams that have COVID-19 outbreaks among unvaccinated players will be forced to forfeit their postponed games if they cannot be rescheduled within the 18-week schedule. 

The NFL also announced that unvaccinated players will be subject to a $14,650 fine every time they violate COVID-19 protocols.

In addition, teams such as the New Orleans Saints are requiring fans to be vaccinated or test negative to attend games at Caesars Superdome this season. 

Erin Walsh is a Boston sports fan through and through. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Bridgewater State University and currently is in pursuit of her Master's Degree in Journalism from Northeastern University. Follow her on Twitter @ewalsh90.

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