Michael Porter Jr. of the Denver Nuggets is facing backlash for his coronavirus-related comments during a Snapchat Q&A late Tuesday, claiming COVID-19 “is being used obviously for a bigger agenda.”
“Personally, I think that the coronavirus is being used obviously for a bigger agenda, it’s being used for population control in terms of being able to control the masses of people,” the athlete said on the social media platform. “Because of this virus, the whole world is being controlled. You’re required to wear masks, and who knows what happens when this vaccine comes out — you might have to have the vaccine in order to travel. Like, that would be crazy.”
He continued, “I’ve never been vaccinated in my life, I’ve never had any shots or anything like that. It could get crazy but there’s definitely an agenda behind everything that’s going on right now, all you can do is just sit back and watch what’s going on and don’t get too emotionally involved.”
Porter Jr. concluded his remarks by stating COVID-19 “is a serious thing” and also “it is being overblown.”
Today, ESPN reported that Nuggets president of basketball operations Tim Connelly spoke with Porter Jr. about the conspiracy theory. The ESPN report also stated Nuggets head coach Michael Malone said he would not “muzzle” his players from sharing their beliefs, however the team will try to educate its players so they are informed on public issues.
“I know that Tim Connelly, our front office, has talked to Michael about his comments long before I realized what was said. So it has been [discussed with] him; he understands the situation. Once again, we as an organization, I’m not going to put a muzzle on anybody,” Malone said. “If somebody has a strong belief on something, they have the platform and freedom to use that. We will just try to educate guys so that they understand the impact of what they may be saying.”
Porter Jr. is a Puma athlete, signing with the brand in June 2018 ahead of the NBA Draft. He was one of several rookies signed by the German athletic giant as part of its new push into the performance basketball category.
FN reached out to Puma via email for comment, however the brand did not reply by time of publication.