Skip to contents
NFL

T.J. Ward Essentially Blames Ron Rivera For Having Cancer

TJ Ward of the Denver Broncos during a game.
Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

T.J. Ward must have seen the dumb shit Cole Beasley said about the COVID vaccine and taken it as a mark to beat.

Washington Football Team head coach Ron Rivera is struggling to convince his players to get the COVID vaccine, and he’s “beyond frustrated” by it because it affects him personally. Rivera was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma in August 2020, and although he was treated and declared cancer-free in January of this year, he’s immune-deficient. He’s still at risk to variants, even with the vaccine. Around unvaccinated people, he’s even more at risk. The WFT’s vaccination rate is around 50 percent, one of the lowest out of all NFL teams. Here’s what Rivera said in Tuesday’s presser, via The Athletic:

“I’m truly frustrated, I’m beyond frustrated,” said Rivera, who was diagnosed with cancer in August, but is now cancer-free. “… I’m immune-deficient, OK? So with this new variant, who knows?

“So, when I’m in a group and the group’s not vaccinated or there’s a mixture, I put the mask on, and I do that for health reasons because nobody really knows. I have to do that. And I just wish and I hope that our guys can understand that.”

Ward, who officially retired in April of this year but hasn’t played meaningful football since 2017, reacted to the story, as many athletes do every day on Twitter. The reason why he received a unique amount of attention was because he went for a truly unique opinion: Cancer is a choice.

“Just park the Riverboat,” Ward wrote. “His health is beyond that of COVID. Maybe it’s time to let it go. Don’t blame the players for your life long health decisions.”

“At some point you gotta pay for them vices,” Ward said in a followup tweet. “Cancer runs in my family like many American families. But also bad diets and cigarettes do as well. Except [sic] responsibility. Don’t blame and be disappointed in your 23 year olds cus they have they own bodies and opinions about there [sic] health.”

After getting yelled at relentlessly for being a cruel idiot, Ward tried to fix the mess he created, in the way only an athlete who doesn’t fully grasp what they’re talking about can:

The reason Beasley has been so loudly and publicly wrong about the COVID vaccine, as well as the concept of math, is because he currently has a job in the NFL. As ignorant as the Bills receiver has been, the league’s COVID vaccination push directly affects him. Ward, however, is out of football. He chose to wade into this pool. The guy was sitting at home, presumably unvaccinated, and decided that he was going to compare cancer to a bad diet.

This is what happens when personal responsibility is trumpeted as applicable to every facet of American life. Anyway, Montez Sweat, the board is yours.

Recommended

Michael Irvin Is The Future Of The COVID Vaccine Push