In case you missed it yesterday, Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Robin Lehner did NOT hold back when he was asked for his opinion on the COVID-19 vaccine rollout amongst the NHL and NHLPA ranks.
Check it out:
Some particularly poignant quotes:
"They told me yesterday that they've surveyed all the teams to see who has taken the vaccine and who hasn't taken the vaccine, but they're not going to change the rules for us as players until all the teams have a fair... so it's not a competitive edge. And that made me go crazy, to be honest."
"We got promised something to take something (vaccine) that not necessarily everyone wanted... so that was a lie. That was a blatant lie."
"To put competitive edge over human lives... when government, corporations, NHL, whoever to put things like competitive edge over human lives... it's not okay, man."
Today Lehner had a one on one interview with Golden Knights reporter Jesse Granger to clarify some of his feelings.
First up, some quotes from Lehner:
“To be promised something’s going to change, to take a vaccine,” Lehner said. “Where some people, some players were even on the verge of taking it, and I was one of them. I wasn’t sure, but I took it for my mental health. When we did it, now they said it’s not happening. I think that’s wrong.”
“We were presented with, ‘Listen, if we can get 85 percent of our travel party vaccinated, these rules are going to change,” Lehner told The Athletic. “They showed us the NBA protocols for all the stages, and that’s what made me take the vaccine.
“Being lied to about things changing, to kind of force us to take the vaccine, is unacceptable. And now that we’ve taken the vaccine, to say ‘Nah, we aren’t changing because of competitive advantage,’ is outrageous.”
You know Robin? You have nothing to apologize for. So many of us have just hit the wall with this damn virus that we just can't help but throw our arms up in the arm. Stay at home? Okay. Wear a mask? Okay. Lose your job? Okay. Get the vaccine? Okay. Now, what's next? It just seems like whatever hoops we're told to jump through there's another dozen hoops ready waiting for us. I'm not saying the measures in place aren't effective, I'm just saying that I don't blame anyone if they're "over it", so to speak.
Kudos to Lehner for speaking his mind. It's clear that this is a guy who is frustrated and is nearing the end of his rope. I think that he probably speaks for a lot of NHLers, as well. Sure these guys are well compensated and are fortunate enough to play a game for a living, but they're still human beings who are deserved of dignity and respect. I'd be livid too if I were told one thing and then had the rug pulled out from under me too. Here's hoping the NHLPA takes Lehner's concerns seriously and acts in the players' best interests. Frankly though, I'm not holding my breath.