NRL star says he “won’t be bullied into a flu shot” by Scott Morrison
Gold Coast NRL player Bryce Cartwright has maintained firm in his stance to not get a flu shot despite pressure from the Prime Minister Scott Morrison who has called for a “no jab, no play” approach to be adopted.
ARL Commission chairman Peter V'landys is bound to enter talks with the RLPA to encourage players to agree to vaccination after Cartwright said he would not be “bullied into getting a flu shot” – a move that polarised the rugby league community.
Getting the flu shot is part of NRL's strict biosecurity protocols in order to restart the competition next month following the coronavirus shutdown, however Cartwright has flatly refused.
It prompted even Morrison to weigh in, saying the NRL should enforce a "no jab, no play" policy that would make sure players who refused to receive the flu shot would not be allowed to play.
Cartwright has continued to fiercely defend his decision however and claims it would be “coercion” if he was forced to get a jab against his wishes.
The star further claims he is not the only player in the NRL who refuses vaccination.
The Titans player says his decision to not want a flu shot has been leaked to the media, which has sparked "anti-vaxxer" backlash.
"I won't be bullied into making decisions that could impact my health and the health of my family," he posted on social media.
"The flu shot is not mandatory in the NRL at the moment.
"Giving us the ultimatum of getting the shot or be stood down is coercion and leaking private medical information is illegal.
"As for me being the first and apparently only one declining the shot is b******t and far from the truth."
Cartwright's wife Shanelle also spoken outright about her husband’s decision to refuse vaccination and on Wednesday wrote: "the proof is in the pudding, our kids are a picture of health".
But Cartwright said he was not an anti-vaxxer.View this post on Instagram
"Not once have I said I am anti-vaccinations," he said.
"I have never told anyone what they should or shouldn't do in regard to vaccinations.
"I stand for the freedom to choose who goes into our bodies..so to label me an 'anti-vaxxer' is spreading misinformation."
The star added: "I know people in my industry with vaccine injured children and the herd NEVER stuck around for them.
"These are our bodies and we decide what goes in them."
Cartwright has signed a vaccination waiver in order to train with the Titans but must explain his actions to NRL chief medical officer Paul Bloomfield.
An NRL spokesperson has said that any player refusing the shot would have to be dealt with on a case-by-case basis amid consultation with club and NRL medical staff.
Join our community of over 400,000-plus members today and get the latest Over60 news, offers and articles.
Get all the latest Over60 news, offers and articles.