Your understatement of the evening, part 2: a bit of a ramble about the needle and the battleship

I needed to take a little nap this afternoon, and when I woke up, my Twitter account had blown up, 3 comments needed to be moderated in the moderation queue regarding my take on Tyler Bertuzzi’s status as unvaccinated, and Breitbart of all places showed up in my Red Wings search engine for a story about Tyler this evening.

So: You know my take on the fact that Mr. Bertuzzi has chosen to decline COVID vaccination, to the tune of missing 9 games in Canada and probably about $400,000 U.S.

To say that, as both a Wings blogger who has to be semi-objective and a Wings partisan who does not always stay semi-objective, I am disappointed in his stance is an understatement.

But what gets me the most is the simple part of it all, never minding the whole personal situation with COVID (no uncle, no high school friend, no friend who had a kidney transplant) on my side of the situation:

Tyler Bertuzzi may have “bodily autonomy,” but, put simply, his employer also has every right to have a vaccination policy, and, as a result, an integral part of the Red Wings’ roster is has chosen to not do part of his job as an integral part of the Red Wings’ roster.

That’s what really bothered me during my nap this afternoon. It’s that somebody is more than willing to take a check to make a play or take a cross-check or a hack on the ankles to get to the front of the net and stay there is equally willing to simply sit and watch his teammates for at least nine games–and follow admittedly punitive off-ice measures designed to protect his teammates from him–because of moral or ethical objections to getting a sore arm.

That kind of inconsistency of character is something I can’t quite wrap my head around. He’s willing to make all kinds of sacrifices to his body for his teammates, and that makes him a good, valuable player, but a little vaccine’s worth of fats and MRNA a bridge too far for the temple of a body he’s built. Is that it?

It doesn’t make sense to me. Maybe it does to you, but as a human being, more than a blogger or a Wings partisan, I don’t understand why it is the needle that terrifies the battleship.

He’s not doing his effing job by refusing the vaccine, and that’s not good enough for George the former soccer player or hockey player who had no talent but did whatever it took to run through walls for his teammates.

And that is why I am still so upset with Tyler Bertuzzi today. He’s not willing to go the extra mile to protect his teammates from himself, and that makes no sense to me.

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George Malik

My name is George Malik, and I'm the Malik Report's editor/blogger/poster. I have been blogging about the Red Wings since 2006, when MLive hired me to work their SlapShots blog, and I joined Kukla's Korner in 2011 as The Malik Report. I'm starting The Malik Report as a stand-alone site, hoping that having my readers fund the website is indeed the way to go to build a better community and create better content.

One thought on “Your understatement of the evening, part 2: a bit of a ramble about the needle and the battleship”

  1. I agree with you 110% George. We are literally just months removed from having full arenas thanks to the vaccine (May was when full crowds were first allowed in NHL arenas across the US) and this guy is gonna take a stand against science and common sense because he feels like it? Sorry Tyler, but you work in the entertainment business. We saw how the pandemic can shut down your way of making a living and without full crowds, you won’t be privileged to make the absurd amounts of money you make by playing a kids game. If the majority of us made the same ignorant decision you are currently making, there would be no full crowds at hockey games. I’m sure the Wings have some of the best doctors in the world and your team nutritionist (Lisa McDowell) who had a battle with covid, probably explained why it is important to be vaccinated not just for you, but for all your teammates, friends, family and the entire community. Maybe someone should share the story of Brent Gilchrist to Mr Bertuzzi (getting shots in his groin before every playoff game during the 98 Cup run just so he can play) so he cane learn what some players would do just so they can play this game.

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