clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Raiders RB Jalen Richard says he won’t vaccinate his children

New, comments
NFL: Oakland Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Yesterday was one of the few days in the calendar year that had no pro sports played in America, and the boredom surely seized us all. But it appears that it affected Raiders running back Jalen Richard especially hard, as he Tweeted this little gem out totally unbidden:

We know Jalen has at least one child, a daughter, whom he apparently plans to expose to polio and mumps and any number of diseases we surely ought to have eradicated by now. Jalen defends his stance by playing the “I am very smart” card:

I mean, I am a religious man myself, but I must have skipped over the part in Exodus where God commands the Hebrews not to have their children vaccinated against smallpox.

Vaccines have been around since 1796 when Edward Jenner infected humans with cowpox, which is harmless to humans but does manage to make them immune to smallpox, which was a serious problem at the time. Since then, humanity has managed to nearly eradicate a number of diseases that had previously been major issues, such as polio, diptheria, pertussis, and rubella. But as the old saying goes, existence is a race between humanity trying to make life idiot-proof, and the universe trying to make a better idiot.

Well, they have high mortality rates and low standards of living, that’s what.

Richard, in subsequent tweets, and those who support him frame this as a matter of individual freedom and having the choice not to put something in your child’s body if you don’t believe they need it. While those are admirable principles, vaccination is a public health issue opposed by quacky pseudoscience, and if one really believes the government that mandates these vaccines is out to get you, it’s within your rights and ability to go live off the grid.

Do I know exactly what’s in every vaccine and what it all does? No, I don’t, and that does concern me on some level. But I also know that I’ve never had polio, measles or Hepatitis B, and neither have my children, and I have vaccines to thank for that.

Can we start training camp already?