TAMPA, Florida – Tampa Bay Buccaneers Coach Bruce Arians didn’t feel the need to call in a specialist to talk to his players about the COVID-19 vaccine, which some league players have expressed skepticism about in recent days.
As Washington football team coach Ron Rivera called in Harvard immunologist Kizzmekia S. Corbett to speak to his players on Tuesday night, Arians said Thursday: “I’m the specialist.”
He told the players: “If you want to get back to normal, get yourself vaccinated.”
Arians said the Bucs are running a vaccination campaign for players and their families at the facility.
“There’s going to be a long line up there right now,” Arians said. “We’ve been pretty short so far. I hope we have a pretty good line.”
Previous vaccination campaigns have also taken place at the facility for coaches and support staff. The goal is to get 85% of the team vaccinated, which the Arians believe will be much closer after the trip.
“Everyone is tired of being here and eating out, and doing all these things that we had to do last year,” Arians said. “It’s always a personal choice, but I see no reason not to get the vaccine.”
When asked if any players have expressed concern or skepticism, such as Ride Sweatshirt did Wednesday, Arians said: “I haven’t spoken to anyone who resisted it. They are just too lazy to get one.”
Outside linebacker Shaq barrett said he and his wife, Jordanna, both received the vaccine. Their four children are not old enough to qualify for the vaccine at this time, as the CDC currently recommends that children aged 12 and older receive vaccines.
Barrett missed the season finale against the Atlanta Falcons because he was close contact with a teammate who tested positive, although he never tested positive himself. Yet he was forced to self-quarantine for five days. Her children were homeschooled in 2020 and have not had appointments to play with other children due to concerns about the virus.
“It’s ‘to each their own’. I recommend it,” Barrett said Thursday. “I don’t know why people wouldn’t have it. But anything that makes you comfortable, anything that helps you sleep at night, you do. But I wish 85% of the team be vaccinated. “