When Michael Chandler announced he wouldn’t be fighting in New York due to the vaccine requirements he found himself labeled as an ‘anti-vaxxer’ by many fans. And Chandler is not happy about that label. So while Chandler was a guest on the MMA Hour, he clarified those comments and his stance on the vaccine debate.
“The funny thing about the vaccination thing was, I didn’t come out, I didn’t do one story to tell people about it, about the vaccine,” Chandler said. “I didn’t get on your show and start talking about the vaccine. I was in a private Instagram Live session with a couple thousand people or whatever it was. Five minutes after I hit ‘End Live,’ one of the MMA media outlets come out and said Chandler isn’t getting vaxxed, and then I got labeled an anti-vaxxer.”
What Chandler did say was that he wouldn’t be vaccinated in time for that event, which is exactly how MMA Junkie reported it.
“I don’t personally have the vaccine right now,” he said “I don’t know if I ever will get the vaccine. Personally, I just believe that we live in the greatest country on the planet. I believe that this is the greatest country on the planet because of our individual liberties and our individual choices, especially when it comes to our bodies and our medical history and our health. So that’s where I stand on it. And it wasn’t a heel turn whatsoever. It was just the people who labelled me an anti-vaxxer obviously thought I was a heel, when really I was just answering a question.”
So while Chandler aimed to have the ‘anti-vaxxer’ label off his shoulders, he may have just done more damage to that image by doubling down on his sentiment to probably never get the vaccine. His plan might have backfired.
The good news is that Chandler will fight in New York after all thanks to a waiver the venue has given to athletes competing not just in the UFC by NBA and other various events set to take place at Madison Square Garden