Report: 21-year-old student-athlete says side effects from COVID vaccine could end his NCAA career

A student-athlete at Tennessee State University says side effects he experienced after getting a second dose of the Pfizer vaccine for COVID-19 have left him hospitalized and could bring an end to his career in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).

According to BizPacReview, 21-year-old John Stokes, a member of the school’s golf team, said in a message posted on social media that he developed a heart condition just days after getting the second of two jabs meant to protect against the coronavirus.

Now, Stokes says he wants to “inform as many people as I can about the risks from taking the vaccine that I wish someone would have told me.”

“It isn’t right”

In his message, which was shared on TikTok, Stokes reportedly blamed the vaccine for his condition.

“I got the second COVID shot Tuesday, and within four days, I have been diagnosed with myocarditis, and was told that I probably won’t be able to play my senior season now,” he said, according to BizPacReview.

“It is a side effect from the COVID vaccine,” Stokes claimed, “and it’s really not being reported or addressed.”

Stokes also called the purported side effects “a serious issue” that all Americans should “be informed about” before deciding to roll up their sleeves.

“It isn’t right for people to be forced to take the vaccine because there are actual side effects like this that could happen to you, and the NCAA should not mandate student-athletes to get the vaccine because of what could happen to many…athletes — health issues — which has happened to me,” the golfer argued, according to BizPacReview.

End the mandates

Stokes’ reported message of warning comes just days after President Joe Biden moved to require large employers and health care providers in the U.S. to mandate vaccines among their employees. According to the Associated Press, the orders could affect some 100 million Americans.

Many of these Americans are likely to find themselves stuck between a rock and a hard place: get a vaccine they don’t fully trust, or risk losing their jobs and their livelihoods just as government programs meant to provide aid amid the pandemic are running out of funding.

But Biden, for his part, maintains that Americans who refuse the vaccine are causing “a lot of damage.”

“We’ve been patient,” he said at the White House last week, according to the AP. “But our patience is wearing thin, and your refusal has cost all of us.” It seems Stokes would be telling a different story.

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