Tom Brady reportedly advocated for Buccaneers players to get a COVID-19 vaccine.
Brady reportedly told players it would help their health and employment opportunities.
The Bucs had said they were 100% vaccinated, but Antonio Brown was recently suspended for misrepresenting his vaccination status.
As the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were pushing for players to get vaccinated against COVID-19 in the lead-up to the season, Tom Brady was reportedly one of the biggest advocates.
According to Defector’s Kalyn Kahler, a Buccaneers player said Brady “often spoke to teammates during training camp and OTAs about the importance of getting vaccinated.”
The player said Brady would refer to how the vaccine could help players’ health and employment “journeys.”
Brady revealed in September that he had gotten COVID-19 shortly after the Bucs’ Super Bowl celebration. He told The Tampa Bay Times that he believed COVID-19 would be just as much of a factor in the 2021 season as it was in 2020.
ESPN’s Jenna Laine reported in September that Brady’s sisters both work in healthcare.
According to Kahler, Bucs head coach Bruce Arians was also a big advocate for players getting vaccinated. A Bucs player told Kahler that Arians told players that getting vaccinated could make a big difference in landing on the final roster. Indeed, another Bucs player said a special-teams player who had performed well in training camp, but was not vaccinated, did not make the roster, raising eyebrows amongst Bucs players.
Entering the season, the Buccaneers had said they were 100% vaccinated. That recently turned out not to be accurate, as it was revealed that Antonio Brown and safety Mike Edwards had used fake vaccine cards. The NFL suspended both players — as well as free agent receiver John Franklin III — three games for misrepresenting their vaccination status.
Brown’s lawyer said on Thursday that Brown is vaccinated but chose not to fight the NFL’s discipline.
The NFL has estimated about 94% of players have received the vaccine, with about 80% receiving it at team health facilities — meaning the league does not believe fake cards are a rampant issue, according to ESPN.
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