Will Sam Darnold get vaxxed? Panthers QB trolled for 'evaluating' Covid-19 vaccine

Will Sam Darnold get vaxxed? Panthers QB trolled for 'evaluating' Covid-19 vaccine
Sam Darnold is hesitant to take the Covid-19 vaccine (@samdarnold/Instagram/ Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Panthers quarterback Sam Darnold found himself at the receiving end of massive trolling, but not for his performance in a game. Instead, users have slammed Darnold's hesitancy to get vaccinated, despite the proof that vaccines are safe and they work. Like most other employers, the NFL hasn't made vaccines mandatory, allowing Darnold to skip them in what he sees as "the best decision for myself".

Vaccine hesitancy is proving to be a major challenge for the Biden administration, which has been heavily pushing people to get vaxxed in a bid to return to normal. As part of that, several states have begun to offer incentives to push people to get their shots. New York is offering a free burger and fries, Ohio a weekly $1 million lottery, West Virginia is offering custom shotguns and a custom truck, and perhaps most bizarrely, Washington state is offering one free marijuana joint with every jab. 


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But despite these efforts, anti-vaxxers and hesitancy remain an ongoing challenge. From police officers to healthcare workers, and politicians to actors, plenty have refused, or have shown concerns about the vaccines. Now, you can add sports stars to that list, with Darnold joining the likes of Montez Sweat. 


Has Sam Darnold been vaxxed?

The short answer is no, not yet. Darnold said, "It's everyone's choice, whether they want to get vaccinated or not." His choice? He's still "evaluating". In a clip shared by ESPN, Darnold said, "Still gotta think about all those certain things that go into it. But yeah I haven't been vaccinated yet." He added, "I’m gonna evaluate that on my own and make the best decision that I feel is the best for myself."

ESPN reporter David Newton tweeted, "Panthers quarterback Sam Darnold says he hasn't gotten the vaccine for Covid-19 yet. He's still evaluating the situation. Coach Matt Rhule said he isn't telling any players they have to get the shot." 


While Darnold is likely far from the only player to not get vaxxed, he is one of the few to publicly state his concerns with vaccines. Earlier, Washington’s Montez Sweat also told the media he wasn't willing to get his shot. "I probably won’t get vaccinated until I get more facts and all that type (of) stuff. I’m not a fan of it at all," he said.

A view of Levi's Stadium on the opening day of a mass Covid-19 vaccination site on February 9, 2021, in Santa Clara, California (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

'Looking forward to Sam Darnold's evaluation'

One person tweeted, "I've seen Sam Darnold throw back across the field into traffic enough to know that decision-making isn't his strong suit." Another trolled, "The science is cool or whatever. But Sam Darnold choosing not to get the vaccine is the best endorsement for getting vaccinated I've heard so far." One more person said, "Sam Darnold has been making bad reads for 3 years. Who thought that his read on the COVID vaccines was going to be any different."




"Really looking forward to reading Sam Darnold’s findings on the vaccine that every epidemiologist, virologist, and all the health officials have missed." Another bluntly asked, "What is there to evaluate, love? Whether you'd prefer to live or die?"



Some people trolled Darnold for missing games in 2019 due to mononucleosis. One person tweeted, "The irony of Sam Darnold not being vaccinated for covid after he missed like a month of football in 2019 from getting mono lmao. Ppl really don’t learn." Another said, "Sam Darnold who was once out for Mono won't get the covid vaccine and says he's evaluating it. Sounds about right."



Reportedly, Darnold is far from the only player who's not willing to get his shot. In early June, The Boston Globe reported that the NFL is struggling to convince players to get their shots. According to the Globe, less than half of the league's players have gotten at least one shot. The league isn't forcing players to get vaxxed but has made it mandatory for coaches and football staff. That has also led to concerns about teams cutting players who aren't vaxxed, since the protocols are much stricter for unvaccinated individuals. 

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