The minority of NBA players declining the COVID-19 vaccine just got a little smaller.
Washington Wizards star Bradley Beal, who said before the season he had not been vaccinated, has received a vaccine, according to Ava Wallace of The Washington Post.
The decision was likely spurred by a local vaccine mandate for indoor entertainment venues instituted by District of Columbia mayor Muriel Bowser that goes into effect on Jan. 15. Had Beal continued to decline the vaccine, he could have potentially been barred from playing on his home court, similar to Kyrie Irving.
Beal, who has been in the NBA's health and safety protocols since last Thursday, wouldn't be the first holdout to be swayed by a local vaccine mandate, as Andrew Wiggins of the Golden State Warriors got the shot under similar circumstances.
Bradley Beal was one of NBA's most prominent unvaxxed players
Beal missed the Summer Olympics in Tokyo after testing positive for COVID-19, then joined a small list of noteworthy NBA players who said they would not receive the vaccine. While doing so, he parroted some of the usual anti-vaccine talking points, such as pointing out the existence of breakthrough cases even though the vaccine significantly reduces the chances of getting infected and drastically reduces the chances of a serious case.
Beal's comments triggered a quick backlash, which led to the Wizards star further explaining his position. He said he was still considering the vaccine with his family and claimed he wasn't able to get vaccinated even if he wanted to, citing "laws and rules."
Those rules were likely the CDC's required 90-day waiting period to get a vaccine if a person was treated with monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma, though it's not confirmed Beal received either treatment. That 90-day period also passed without Beal receiving a vaccine.
While Beal held firm that getting vaccine was a "personal decision," he explicitly rejected the support of U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, who tweeted that he stood with the unvaccinated players. Similar to Irving, Beal stated he was not advocating for other people to not get the vaccine.