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Player receives Stephen A. Smith’s ‘Idiot Award’ for missing COVID dose

Sports personality Stephen A. Smith says Matisse Thybulle of the Philadelphia 76ers “is going to win an idiot award” for not getting a second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine because it will prevent him from playing in the playoffs this season against the Toronto Raptors. .

“Now you got this Thybulle guy,” Smith said on Friday’s episode of ESPN. First take. “I like him, I’m a fan. But I have to tell you, he’s going to win an idiot award. He’s going to win an idiot award.”

Due to Canada’s federal vaccination mandate, foreign travelers must be fully vaccinated to enter the country.

Professional athletes were previously exempt from vaccination rules, but those exceptions no longer apply, meaning Thybulle, who is only partially vaccinated, will have to sit out games 3 and 4 of the first round of the qualifiers. NBA.

ESPN analyst Stephen A. Smith has criticized a Philadelphia 76ers player for not receiving both doses of his vaccine before the NBA playoffs. Above, Smith speaks during Game 3 of the NBA Finals between the Milwaukee Bucks and the Phoenix Suns at Fiserv Forum on July 11, 2021 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Justin Casterline/Stringer

“How the hell do you agree to take a picture and take one but forget to take two? How do you do that?” Smith asked Friday.

“Ladies and gentlemen, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is a vaccine. The Pfizer vaccine is two vaccines, three weeks apart. The Moderna vaccine is two vaccines, three weeks apart. be so complicated to understand, but obviously it was with Thybulle,” he says.

Smith warned that without the team’s best perimeter defenseman of the season, the 76ers could lose in the first round of the playoffs.

“Now he can’t show up in Canada because Canada won’t let him in,” Smith said. “So you’re an elite defensive player to take them on [sic] brothers in Toronto—[Pascal] Siakam and [Gary] Thirty and [Fred] VanVleet and these boys, they can play now – the fact that they don’t have Thybulle available for these games on the road… that’s a very big thing.”

On Sunday, Thybulle said he knew his decision could cost the team dearly, but was raised in a “holistic home” and decided he didn’t want to take a back seat.

“I felt like I had a strong base of medical resources that could serve me beyond what this vaccine could do for me,” he said.

“I made that choice and thought I could keep it to myself, I could keep it quiet,” Thybulle added.

This isn’t the first time Smith has sued Thybulle over his vaccination status.

Days earlier, he had said, “Thybulle and his vaccination issues might be one of the dumbest things I’ve ever come across in my career covering the NBA.”

“I mean, at least Kyrie [Irving] took a stand: “I don’t take it.” No, you took it, you just didn’t take the second shot,” Smith said, referring to the Brooklyn Nets player who wasn’t eligible to play or practice with his team in the fall. last because of his refusal to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Newsweek has contacted the Philadelphia 76ers for comment.


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