Chipper Jones is a lot of things. He’s a first-ballot Hall of Fame 3rd Baseman, a former number 1 overall pick, current Braves coach, and apparently according to himself now, an amateur virologist. The Hall of Famer joined the growing trend of athletes and celebrities who have taken a strong line stance against the COVID vaccine in recent weeks. Jones took to Twitter to respond to one Dylan J. Finnerty who said as such:
The most confusing part about this is how the former Atlanta Brave continues to bring up money. In the first tweet he mentions opening up his wallet, and in this follow up tells Finnerty that “I don’t tell u how to do u or how to spend ur money. That’s ur prerogative.” Has anyone told Jones that the vaccine is free? It costs nothing to get vaccinated, no wallet opening is necessary. Jones also would go on to retweet support for the usage of Ivermectin, the anti-parasitic drug that’s typically used for the deworming of livestock which has sent numerous folks to the emergency room in the past few weeks due to misuse on account of misinformation.
Jones is not alone in his beliefs, something that comes as no surprise to even the least socially aware person online right now, but his tweets do reflect an interesting trend. Between the ability to be chronically online, and the politicization of the pandemic, athletes and celebrities are beginning to appear significantly more human. Before the ability to hear any athlete or former star’s opinion on quite literally anything, at any point in time, a mysticism existed about the personality of stars.
Twitter’s platform that allows for conversations like the one between Finnerty and Jones has gone great strides in destroying that aura of celebrity. It adds an interesting element to fandom in today’s age. Do you cheer for the athlete on your favorite team who holds stances that oppose yours? Do you despise your most hated rival a little bit less if an athlete tweets out in support of a cause you believe in? Twitter makes stars appear remarkably human. Chipper Jones seems like a great guy to get hitting lessons from, and if he offered some advice on that it’s worth taking stock in. For now though, leave the medical advice to those with degrees in the field, after all, you wouldn’t take Dr. Fauci’s advice on how to handle a breaking ball at the MLB level, would you?
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