On Wednesday, reports broke that the Kansas City Royals will miss several of its players this weekend due to their vaccination status as the team travels to Toronto for a four-game series against the Blue Jays.
Canada’s strict vaccination policy prevents 10 members of the Kansas City Royals from playing due to unvaccinated status.
Royals manager Mike Matheny said in a statement:
“It’s an individual choice. The organization has done a real good job of bringing in professionals and experts to just talk guys through tough conversations and then put it in their hands to make their decision that they believe is best for them and their family.”
Royals President Dayton Moore supported the players’ decisions while acknowledging choices affect the team.
“We’ve always been an organization that kind of promotes and encourages their individual choices,” Moore said. “Unfortunately, some of this affects the team. We’re disappointed in some of that, but we realize it’s part of the game. It’s part of the world we live in.”
Outfielder Andrew Benintendi, first baseman Hunter Dozier, second baseman Whit Merrifield, outfielder Michael Taylor, and outfielder Kyle Isbel are among those who will reportedly miss the trip and be placed on the restricted list. Catchers MJ Melendez and Cam Gallagher, along with pitchers Brad Keller, Brady Singer, and Dylan Coleman, will also stay behind.
The 10 Royals players not traveling to Toronto will forfeit their pay and service time during the team’s four-day trip in Canada.
News: The Kansas City Royals will be missing nearly 40% of their roster for a series this week in Toronto because the players are not vaccinated, including a top trade target.
Details free and unlocked at ESPN: https://t.co/1tSEsOEqxt
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) July 13, 2022
The Daily Wire added:
2022 All-Star Benintendi said he knows what the decision means to remain unvaccinated and that it’s his “personal decision. And I’m going to leave it at that.”
Merrifield shared a similar sentiment, adding that he didn’t make the decision “on a whim. It’s been a long thought process because I understand what Canada has in place right now.”
In order to fill Royal’s roster, Kansas City will pull in players from its Triple-A and Double-A affiliates giving some young players a huge opportunity.
The first game in the series is Thursday night.
These are young and healthy men who are at no significant risk from the virus and have made a personal decision that has no impact on the health and well-being of others. Preventing them from playing in Toronto is completely unjustifiable.
Canada, of course, has banned unvaccinated travelers since summer 2021 and yet saw newly reported COVID cases rise 11200% by early January 2022. There is no demonstrable benefit to these types of mandates, and yet out of arrogance, incompetence, and an inability to admit mistakes, they continue.