According to multiple articles ranging from the Philadelphia Inquirer to Yahoo Sports, nearly half of the Phillies roster is hesitant to get the COVID-19 vaccination.
Whether people like it or not, getting the vaccine is a personal choice. However, in the business of professional sports, that choice affects more than just the sole individual.
This begs the question, does having the right of a personal choice regarding the vaccine take precedent over the team’s standing?
The Phillies are already dealing with this dilemma. Aaron Nola sat on the sideline for a couple of weeks before returning this past week against the Yankees.
Just as Nola made his return, the team announced Bailey Falter and J.D. Hammer compromised themselves. They were added to the COVID-19 injured list.
For a team that’s right in the thick of a division race; They can’t afford to have a lingering distraction hovering over their head—struggling on the field with consistent winning performances plagues this team enough already. Worrying if some players won’t even be on the field only hurts the team.
If the clubhouse and front office are constantly worrying about half of the team’s ability to be available hurts the cohesiveness of the team and structure of the organization.
The Phillies have the easiest remaining strength of schedule in the league. They should be focusing solely on making a playoff push and moves at the trade deadline, increasing their likelihood of playing October baseball.
Imagine two weeks are left in the season, and the Phillies are a game back in the NL East. They play the Mets and Braves in that final stretch, which will mean a lot in how the final standings play out.
Before the series begins, news breaks, a team member tests positive and comes into close contact with other key team members.
A debilitating scenario like this is a realistic possibility for the Phillies at the season’s end and throughout the home stretch.
Even though vaccination is a personal choice, and people shouldn’t feel coerced or forced in any way to do something they don’t want to. The consequences are so debilitating that it may be best for weary players to inform themselves on the subject matter properly. Then do what’s best for the team to shift the focus entirely towards the playoff run.
This is a sticky situation that will continue to be a part of heated debates until a resolution is found. Players have their rights, but is it worth standing firm in those choices worth it if the results hurt the team as a whole? It will be a puzzle the Phillies continually attempt to piece together the rest of the season unless there’s a culture change in the clubhouse.
The post Phillies COVID-19 Dilemma: Does Team Standing Take Precedent Over Personal Choice? appeared first on Philadelphia Sports Nation.
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