Cleveland Indians GM Says Players ‘Free To Make Their Own Choices’ After Pitcher Compares Vaccine Panic To Nazi Germany

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Jesse Stiller Contributor
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The Cleveland Indians General Manager Chris Antonetti said that players in the baseball club are “free to make their own choices and decisions” regarding their stance on the vaccine after a player compared the vaccine panic to Nazi Germany.

Antonetti told Fox News on Tuesday that he had spoken with Indians pitcher James Karinchak regarding a controversial social media post he had made a few days earlier regarding the push for Americans to take the COVID vaccine.

“The vast majority of our players and staff opted for the vaccine and continue to follow the protocols around mask wearing, and that’s something we’ll continue to engage and support,” Antonetti told Fox News.

Karinchak posted a quote on his Instagram account on April 6, with a headline in italics and bold that read “No freedom unless you get a vaccine,” along with a quote from Nazi military leader Hermann Goering.

“It was very easy, it had nothing to do with Nazism, it has something to do with human nature,” Goering’s quote read. “The only thing that needs to be done to enslave people is to get them into a state of fear.” (RELATED: Gov. DeSantis Criticizes Vaccine Messaging: ‘If You Get A Vaccine … You’re Immune And So, Act Immune’)

Karinchak’s post was later taken down after several users criticized him for his comparison and inclusion of the quote, Fox News reported.

The Anti-Defamation League of Cleveland criticized the post as well, telling WOIO on April 6, “Whether it is an athlete, a politician, or anyone else, it is simply not appropriate to compare Covid-19 protocols to the Holocaust. Doing so dishonors the memories of those murdered by the Nazis.”

Confidence in the COVID-19 vaccine took a hit recently after the Johnson & Johnson vaccine was temporarily paused earlier in April following reports of serious blood clots in multiple patients, although the CDC lifted the pause later in the month.