What Draymond Green is wrong about freedom
On September 30, Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green spent time defending teammate Andrew Wiggins’ decision to forgo any COVID vaccination. The speech spread like wildfire online and was greeted by a fascinating gang, including right-wing and Republican talking heads. and Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James. The All-Star and three-time NBA champion has also been criticized, the address described as “insane” by a writer from San Francisco. How was that possible? It begins and ends with Green’s curious notions of freedom.
What does âfreedom,â a value we hold dear in America look like, through the prism of COVID-19 and broader public safety? Or has Green, and many others, misunderstood its meaning?
For starters, Green equalized a public health crisis that claimed the lives of 714,000 people in the United States alone, with the recent birth of Wiggins’ child and whether he chose to attend even if that meant be away from the Warriors.
“[That] it would be like saying to her, ‘Yo, your wife is going to give birth. How dare you leave this team and not go take care of your wife? ‘ Green said, according to ESPN. âIt’s something that is personal to him. It is something that is linked to health. It’s something personal to his family. It is no different.
Wiggins’ reluctance to the vaccine has become a subject of public debate and criticism on social media. The speech then turned into a disadvantage for the former Kansas star when the NBA informed players that they would not be paid if they did not comply with city and state vaccination prescriptions – San Francisco is one of two cities with this requirement.
Wiggins would have to choose his huge salary (home games and other venues with warrants) or his principles. Not surprisingly, the thought of forfeiting at least half of his $ 31.6 million salary for the upcoming season has become too much for his moral system to bear. He was vaccinated this month.
“The only options were to get the shot or not to play in the NBA,” Wiggins said recently after Golden State’s pre-season opener by Illustrated sports. âIt was a tough decision. Hopefully it works in the long term, and in 10 years I’m still healthy.
The suggestion here is that he tries to refrain from unnatural remedies because he doesn’t know how his body will react in “10, 15 years”. However, there is no scientific indication that anything will happen outside of general safety against the virus. (He also oddly admitted that he took an Epipen for allergic reactions, which is not a natural cure.)
As Green stated, Wiggins also views the issue of vax as a matter of personal freedom.
âI guess to do certain things, to work, I guess you don’t own your body,â Wiggins said. âThis is what it is. If you want to work in society today then I guess they set the rules for what goes on in your body and what you do. I hope there are a lot of people out there who are stronger than me and keep fighting, stand up for what they believe in, and I hope it works for them.
The palpable tension between unvaccinated NBA players and players and non-athletes like Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who side with them is shocking. It’s all thanks to these messy notions of a cultural war of freedom in the midst of an ongoing public health crisis.
Part of this problem lies in a glaring misidentification of the scale and scope of COVID-19, in part attributed to the fact that a significant number of these very public anti-vaccines (Kyrie Irving, various celebrities) and autonomy advocates (Greens, largely right wing politicians) enjoy high quality health care and can afford a distance that the non-rich can only dream of. In addition, they are highly trained, hard working, well-adjusted athletes (mostly blacks in the big American sports leagues) who are not used to being considered and grouped with the larger masses. The entrenched exceptionalism with a combination of social media is both a giveaway (in terms of socio-political issues) and a curse (regarding COVID-19.)
There is also a tension of inhumanity and reduced empathy, albeit as a coping mechanism, occurring in our attempt to make sense of the data. And let’s assume you’re not in the sights of COVID-19, at least in perception. In this case, relying on the distorted notion of freedom as the dominant factor is at stake. Dr. Paul Slovic, a longtime risk and decision science researcher at the University of Oregon, calls this human tendency âthe prominence effectâ. In other words, when faced with complicated choices, like buying a car, people tend to rely on a prevailing factor, such as a safety rating on said car.
Another related aspect, “psychic numbness”, concerns the onset of indifference in the face of an unimaginable catastrophe. “A life is valuable, but that life loses its value, perceptually, if it is part of a larger tragedy,” Slovic told apa.org.
Returning to Green’s offloading, he states that “we are dealing with something that in my opinion has turned into a political war when you talk about vaccines. [people] and not vaccinated [people]. I think it has become very political.
âAnd for someone who isn’t very keen on politics, when you’re doing something so political, and not everyone is in politics, you can turn those people off as well. I think you have to honor people’s feelings and their own personal beliefs. And I think that has been lost when it comes to the vaccinated and the unvaccinated. â¦ You say we live in ‘The land of the free’ â well, you don’t give freedom to anybody because you make people do something essentially without making them do, you make them do something. And that goes against everything America stands for, supposedly stands for.
Of course, this idea is superficial, given that most American lives are centered around law enforcement, mandates, and medical standardizations, such as wearing seat belts and vaccinating children from their earliest days. young age.
The politicization of COVID-19 is undisputed to Dr Eman Spaulding, a doctor in Tampa, Florida, but he believes there is more to the way Americans, including Green, see themselves. It suggests the emotional verification of the human experience of COVID lives somewhat entrenched in American culture.
âWhat you have to understand is that the problem with empowering people to do things is that society is not organized that way,â says Spaulding. âThis has never been the case with, say, the free world, the democratic countries of today. Past generations have only lived in an âera of freedomâ. They are therefore socialized to be able to have choices. And you tell them, ‘No, you have to do this or else.’ Some people will hesitate because you didn’t raise them that way. “
SportsNet New York presenter Chris Williamson says, âThere are so many factors involved: poverty, race, gender, able-bodied, disabled, the nine-yard set. That’s why I laugh when people like Draymond or King LeBron, Wiggins, Kyrie talk about âpersonal choiceâ. It’s not; it infects or actually affects the [the Black population] disproportionately for multiple reasons. It is not a “personal choice” when more than 700,000 people die from this virus. “
Ultimately, the most dangerous notion that Green elucidated at the press conference, which has been echoed widely in right-wing echo chambers for decades, is the implication of reduction. Many still argue that vaccines cause autism, based on no scientific evidence, leading to conspiracy.
We take photos for traveling, enforcing pedestrian protection laws, acquiring driver’s licenses or in various positions. We allow anesthesia for surgeries in hospitals which we use as a large utility. In a way though, those almost invisible conventional decrees, which are not there to “honor people’s feelings and their own personal beliefs” but to protect us as a whole, are a separate issue.
Recently, Chris Hayes of MSNBC took a look at how unhappy people are with the new seat belt laws. During the 1980s, national legislation introduced the same âThey take away my freedomsâ rhetoric, although they are supposed to protect drivers. They couldn’t see the scale or understand how their choices exponentially affected everyone around them.
The CDC and doctors are offering advice that by taking the COVID-19 vaccine, we can collectively reduce cases, hospitalizations and deaths. Yet we have the same misunderstandingsâ¦ except that today we have social media that reinforces disinformation and violently half-baked ideas like Green’s statement.
According to the CDC, âSeat belts significantly reduce the risk of death and serious injury. For drivers and front passengers, seat belts reduce the risk of death by 45% and the risk of serious injury by 50%. Seat belts âalso prevent drivers and passengers from being ejected in an accidentâ.
The organization does not tell people that they cannot have an accident, nor does it mean that people cannot die while wearing a seat belt. And yet, because we wore them, we have probably saved millions of lives.
Presented by Rhodes Road Trip, part of the Undefeated collection on ESPN + Black History Always
Rhodes road trip
Award-winning columnist William C. “Bill” Rhoden is the product of a great HBCU tradition. Rhoden’s college journey began at Morgan State University, where he was a member of the 1968 squad that beat Grambling at Yankee Stadium in the Whitney Young Classic. One of the most respected journalists of his generation – for nearly four decades – he has witnessed the evolution of HBCUs, from their rise to their desire to prosper. Fifty years after that momentous moment at Yankee Stadium in Rhoden, with the help of the Rhoden Fellows, a team of aspiring HBCU journalists, explore the rich history and culture of HBCU football.