Cubs' Heyward: Fans deserve vaccination concerns, not players

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Chicago Cubs outfielder Jason Heyward hasn't received the COVID-19 vaccine, and he doesn't think so much attention should be given to players who decide not to get vaccinated.

"There's concern about players, (but) there needs to be more concern about people on the outside, the people in the stands, the 100% sitting next to each other that aren't getting tested the way we are getting tested and say they're vaccinated or not - if they're concerned" Heyward said, according to Phil Thompson of the Chicago Tribune.

Major League Baseball began letting fans into games this season, with several stadiums now allowing full attendance.

Wrigley Field, which hosted 35,225 spectators for Sunday's contest against the St. Louis Cardinals, doesn't require fans to wear masks if they've been fully vaccinated, according to COVID-19 guidelines on the Cubs' website.

Heyward believes those rules are more problematic than whether players get vaccinated.

"I don't think they're saying, 'OK, you're not wearing a mask, you're not wearing a mask, you're not wearing a mask, so you all need to go somewhere.' They're not even thinking about doing that,” he said.

"But they are pointing at the people that get tested at least three times a week, we're around each other every day, who know whose families are vaccinated and who's not," Heyward continued. "We know if we test positive, we don't show up to the next game. Therefore, if we're present and we're here, none of us tested positive.

"To me it feels like a lot of wasted concern on a group of a people that is pretty much checked off on almost every single day."

The Cubs are one of eight teams that haven't reached MLB's 85% vaccination threshold, according to a June 11 report from ESPN's Jesse Rogers. Getting 85% of their top-tier personnel vaccinated would allow Chicago to loosen restrictions, including being maskless in the dugout.

Cubs president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer said last month that he was disappointed more players on his team weren't getting vaccinated. Among the non-vaccinated are Heyward and first baseman Anthony Rizzo, who recently said he isn't against being vaccinated, but he wants to see more data.

Cubs' Heyward: Fans deserve vaccination concerns, not players
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