Last Updated on July 13, 2022
J.T. Realmuto, MLB’s highest-paid catcher, is unable to play with the Philadelphia Phillies against the Toronto Blue Jays this week because of his refusal to get vaccinated.
Realmuto, along with his teammates Alec Bohm, Aaron Nola, and Kyle Gibson were placed on the team’s restricted list due to their vaccination status barring them from entering Canada.
Realmuto reasserted his refusal to get the COVID vaccine on Tuesday, saying, “I’m not going to let Canada tell me what I do and don’t put in my body for a little bit of money. It’s just not worth it.”
The MLB starter explained his reasoning behind his decision to not get vaccinated:
“I’m a healthy 31-year-old professional athlete and I just didn’t feel the need to get it. I’ve had COVID a couple of times and [experienced] super mild symptoms back when it first came out. When it came time to decide whether I needed the vaccine or not, I talked with a couple of doctors that I knew and told them my story and just really decided I didn’t think I needed it. And I wasn’t gonna take it just cause I was told to.”
Phillies Catcher J.T. Realmuto on not playing against Toronto due to Canada’s covid vax mandates:
“I’m a healthy 31-year old pro athlete and didn’t feel the need to get it… I’m not going to let Canada tell me what to put in my body.”
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) July 12, 2022
A reporter further pressed Realmuto, commenting that he will lose parts of his salary for missing the Canadian games. Realmuto was not phased, responding, “Yeah, but I mean, what’s money? I’m not going to let Canada tell me what I do and don’t put in my body for a little bit of money. It’s just not worth it.”
Currently, Realmuto cannot travel to Toronto since the Canadian government requires all travelers to have two dosages of the COVID-19 vaccine or one Johnson & Johnson shot.
Tennis star Novak Djokovic faced similar controversy this week after he won the Wimbledon Championship, despite being unable to play in the US Open championship and being barred from the Australian Open because of his vaccination refusal.
Stay tuned to National File for any updates.