The conversation surrounding the use of vaccine mandates around the world in response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been an extremely heated one, and that may be putting it far too mildly. Any conversation on the subject usually rapidly devolves into vitriol being tossed back and forth between opposing viewpoints, and for this reason many public figures have opted to stay away from the conversation altogether.
It is perhaps for this reason that I was somewhat surprised to learn this week that veteran National Hockey League forward Zac Rinaldo had made very public statements on the subject during a political rally in Ontario, Canada. Regardless of whether you agree or disagree with the stance that Rinaldo takes here, I must commend him for having the courage to speak publicly on this matter. No doubt regardless of which side of the argument he found himself on, he knew full well going into this that he would be facing considerable backlash.
Rinaldo began by explaining who he would be voting for in the upcoming Canadian election, a choice he claims comes largely due to the proposed vaccine mandates in Canada.
"I am here solely to tell you why I am voting for PPC," began Rinaldo. "I am solely voting for PPC because of the mandates and they are going to get rid of these mandates."
Rinaldo went on to clarify that, although he does appear to oppose the mandates, he is not an anti-vaccine advocate by any stretch of the imagination.
"I am not anti-vaxx, I am not anti-mask, I am just pro-choice," clarified the NHL veteran.
Even more interesting perhaps was the fact that Rinaldo also admitted to not having a political bone in his body, but felt it was necessary to speak out now for the sake of his young children.
"I am not political, I have zero political background ever. I play hockey, I take care of my kids. I just work hard, put my head down and go to work, that's what I do. I'm doing this solely for my kids alone, I have a 4 year old.... a 2 year old, and I want them to look back one day and see that their father was on the right side of history and not the wrong side of history."
Just recently the Columbus Blue Jackets organization, who Rinaldo is currently playing for, fired coach Sylvain Lefebvre over his vaccination status and you have to wonder how this could impact Rinaldo moving forward.