Philadelphia Phillies catcher J.T. Realmuto is unable to travel with his squad to battle the Toronto Blue Jays in Canada.
The 3x All-Star is unvaccinated against COVID-19 and refuses to let Justin Trudeau, or any world leader, tell him what he must put inside his body.
“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 I can and can’t put in my body,” Realmuto said.
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J.T. Realmuto on not being able to join the Phillies in Toronto due to his vaccination status: pic.twitter.com/7suM66OYaB
— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) July 12, 2022
NBC Sports reported:
Aaron Nola and J.T. Realmuto made up the Phillies’ starting battery in Monday night’s 6-1 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium.
Earlier in the day, the two men made news when it was announced that they would not accompany their teammates to Toronto for a two-game series that begins Tuesday night.
Canada requires a COVID-19 vaccination for entry.
Neither player is vaccinated and neither regrets it.
“I just didn’t want to do it,” was Nola’s explanation for not getting the vaccine.
Realmuto was a little more expansive on the topic.
“I’m a healthy 31-year-old professional athlete and I just didn’t feel I needed to get it,” he said. “I had COVID a couple of times, 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 doctors I knew and I told them my story and decided I didn’t think I needed it.
“I wasn’t going to take it just because I was told to, basically.”
Realmuto, Nola, Alec Bohm and Kyle Gibson are also unvaccinated. Bohm may avoid the restricted list after dislocating his left ring finger Monday night. He could end up on the injured list instead.
The report noted that players on the restricted list do not get paid.
Realmuto will lose over $262,000 because he’s barred from making the trip to Toronto.
Like tennis superstar Novak Djokovic, Realmuto has refused to let any country tell him what he must put inside his body to perform.