When asked by reporters on Monday whether he was planning to get the COVID-19 vaccine, NBA All-Star Bradley Beal responded by calling the matter a "personal decision."
The Washington Wizards star also took the time to ask vaccinated reporters in the press room why many who are immunized against the virus are still getting infected.
"Every player, every person in this world is going to make their own decision for themselves," Beal said during the league's media day before directing his question at the reporters.
"I would like an explanation to you know, people with vaccines, why are they still getting COVID?" he asked. "Like, it's funny that, 'Oh, it reduces your chances of going to the hospital,' but it doesn't eliminate anybody from getting COVID, right? ... and you can still pass [the virus] along with the vaccine, right?"
Beal's remarks come as mounting evidence appears to show that the effectiveness of the vaccine decreases after several months, and is especially spotty against the Delta variant. Though public health experts still maintain that vaccination provides a substantial boost to the immune system and is effective at preventing hospitalization with the virus.
Beal, who was slated to start for Team USA during its gold-medal run in the Tokyo Olympic games this summer before contracting COVID-19, also said that people should not be forced into receiving the vaccine.
"I don't think you can pressure anybody into doing things, or putting things in their body," he said.
But in a follow-up media interview on Tuesday, Beal wanted to clarify his perspective. He assured reporters that he is still considering getting the vaccine and is not locked into an anti-vaccination stance.
"I believe what I said, it's my opinion," he said. "[But] one thing I want to get clear is that I'm not sitting up here advocating or campaigning that, 'No, you should not get that vaccine.'"
"I'm not sitting up here saying vaccines are bad, I'm not sitting up here saying this vaccine is bad. I'm not sitting up here saying that you shouldn't get it," he continued.
"It's a personal decision between every individual [and their families], that's it," Beal argued. "And I have that personal right to keep it to myself."
According to CBS Sports, similarly to the NFL, the NBA is not outright requiring its players to get vaccinated but is encouraging such behavior by imposing stricter guidelines for those who refuse the shot.
For example, unvaccinated players will be subjected to daily testing, required to wear masks inside team facilities, and face mandatory quarantine upon close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.