Stephen A. Smith Baffled Why Lamar Jackson Refuses to Get Vaccinated

Stephen A. Smith
Stephen A. Smith /

Lamar Jackson missed 10 days of Ravens training camp after testing positive for COVID-19. It is the second time the MVP quarterback has missed time at his job due to COVID. He was one of the many Baltimore players affected by the COVID outbreak that happened in the middle of the 2020 season, causing Jackson to miss one game and the Ravens were forced to play Robert Griffin III and Trace McSorley. It went as well as you'd expect.

However, if you thought getting COVID not once but twice would be adequate motivation for an individual to get vaccinated, you would be sorely disappointed. Jackson deflected, as all unvaccinated players do, when asked by reporters if he would get his shots after his second diagnosis.

The First Take crew discussed the series of events today. Stephen A. Smith, speaking in an uncharacteristically solemn manner about the whole thing, was just baffled that Jackson wouldn't get the vaccine. Smith chose to avoid the well-trodden path of explaining how insane it is to not get a vaccine for the virus causing the deadliest pandemic in modern history, and instead spoke only about how Jackson's unwillingness to get his shots is negatively impacting his team.

It is indeed confusing on multiple fronts. Jackson is far and away the most important player on the Ravens and he certainly knows that. Baltimore is screwed if he can't go for any game next year. Then there's the fact that Jackson is not only trying to negotiate a gargantuan contract extension worthy of his talents, he's doing so without the help of an agent. Not getting vaccinated when it's the only way to ensure his availability for the 2021 season is probably something the Ravens will bring up in those negotiations.

Hopefully Jackson's teammates remind him that the best ability is availability and he gets vaccinated. No one should hold their breath, though.