What it means when sports stars stay coy about their COVID-19 vaccine status

When two St. Louis Blues hockey players were sidelined because of covid-19 just days before this year’s NHL playoffs, the team said young defenseman Jake Walman had been vaccinated against the deadly illness. But it was mum about the vaccination status of a more well-known player: star forward David Perron.

It wasn’t until 10 days later — and after the Colorado Avalanche buried the team, without Perron touching the ice in any of the series’ four games — that he begrudgingly acknowledged he had been vaccinated.

“I don’t want to talk about that anymore,” Perron, the team’s leading scorer, said at a press conference.

While fans often know intricate details about athletes’ knee joints and concussions, covid vaccinations are another story. Reticence is common among professional athletes. Vaccination status is also a point of secrecy among some Republican lawmakers, other public figures and even many regular people.

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