As Omicron cases increase exponentially across Europe, governments are urging citizens to get fully vaccinated and ‘boosted’ to protect themselves and others.
Across England, 81% of the population aged 12 and over is fully vaccinated (at Dec 18th, 2021) compared with 59% of players in the English Football League. Rather concerning is that 25 per cent of these players state they have no intention of getting the vaccine.
Professional athletes like these will, of course, have a range of reasons which explain why they chose not to be vaccinated (confidence in the vaccine, complacency, calculated judgement, degree of collective social responsibility etc) but these players are influential role models and other people will model their behaviour. If more players could be encouraged to step forward, then we would expect that more unvaccinated fans would follow and that would be a big boost for us all.
Should we ask and expect more from our professional athletes (collective social responsibility) during a crisis or respect their right to individual autonomy and privacy?
The image shows fully vaccinated rates of all foreign and domestic players competing in these leagues.