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  • Reverend James Squire

The NFL Leads the Way

Who would have thought that the NFL would lead the way to get people vaccinated? The NFL has recently released a memo stating that teams with Covid outbreaks who are not able to play a game will forfeit that game to their opponents. The season will not be extended to accommodate games that have to be rescheduled. In addition, the players would not be paid for missed games. 32 teams have only 50% of their players vaccinated. That is appalling!

This will put pressure on teams to get vaccinated without requiring it. National studies regarding if people will choose integrity over money, have concluded that people will go for the money as their key decision maker. In the words of the movie, Jerry McGuire, “Show me the money!”

I sometimes feel that I may be the only person in our nation who feels that the unvaccinated should be held responsible for their failure to get the vaccine. Currently it is the medical community that has the responsibility to treat those who didn’t get the vaccine. It is the medical community and their families that are at risk. There is someone else who is vulnerable to the perils of the Delta Virus. That group is our children under 12. Mississippi has petitioned the Supreme Court to overturn the Roe v. Wade Abortion Law because they are so pro-life. Their vaccination rate is 33%. They are concerned about a child’s life. What about the children under the age of 12 who can’t choose to get a vaccine and will certainly die if exposed to the Delta Virus? Give me a break! To use the pro-life phrase based in Natural Law, “life is life whether in utero or living under the age of 12.” You can’t have it both ways.

The policy of the NFL could lead the way to get the right people to be responsible for, in my opinion, unethical behavior by not getting the vaccine. No other entity has done this yet. Persuasion and the reality of the unvaccinated dying are making slow inroads into the unvaccinated receiving the vaccine. Not enough people are thinking about the lives of the medical people and children under 12 who have no choice in dealing with the virus and are directly affected by the virus’ spread.

There is a key ethical axiom that must be followed in dealing with the unvaccinated. That axiom is “not to act is to act. There is no ethical neutral ground.” If you see a person being attacked as you walk down a street and choose to do nothing that is itself an ethical or unethical action.

Our media should have that phrase as their banner headline. “Not to act is to act. There is no neutral moral ground. You are putting children at risk. Their death is on you!”

Currently it is assumed that the medical community will continue to be treating irresponsible people. They are saddled with the Hippocratic Oath to “help rather than to injure.” However, there is another document that not enough people know about. It is the Covid 19 Health Care Workers Bill of Rights. One section says, “The influx of Covid 19 patients combined with healthcare workers becoming sick creates a strain on staffing. Healthcare facilities must ensure staffing levels that keep healthcare workers and patents safe.”

There is the ethical guideline that responsibility for lack of ethical actions should affect those who have been irresponsible. The irresponsible should pay the price because they have made a choice. The word, choice, is the bedrock of ethical action. To choose not to act is to act.

How sad it is that it took the NFL of all entities to underscore this basic truth. Who would have thought that their example could lead the way in putting the responsibility where it belongs?

Postscript: it is nice to be right. A day after the NFL announcement a high percentage of the players have been vaccinated. There are some who are disgruntled. The Minnesota Vikings Assistant Coach, Rick Dennison, was fired for refusing to get the vaccine. That’s what accountability looks like. I hope that the nation catches on.

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