In a new report from Sport (via Az), Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said he strongly believes that footballers could set a positive example for the public if they were to all get their COVID vaccinations.
“We don’t want to push our way at all, but footballers could make a contribution to society as role models,” Rummenigge said.
With the vaccinations that have become available across Europe, North America, and the rest of the world in the past couple of months, there has naturally been some speculation regarding the efficacy of both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccinations. Health experts insist that the shots are effective in purpose, but there’s a percentage of people that don’t exactly trust the injections simply because of how new they are, despite medical experts singing off on them. In Rummenigge’s opinion, footballers could help people bridge that trust gap if they were to receive the vaccination(s).
“If, for example, a FC Bayern player gets vaccinated, trust in the population grows. As a former footballer, I know what the body means for an athlete: Everything! We don’t want to push our way at all, but footballers could make a contribution to society as role models,” Rummenigge explained.
Of course, Rummenigge advocates for this only was enough vaccines become available for widespread use amongst footballers. First responders, front line healthcare workers, and senior citizens that are immunocompromised obviously are still first in line to receive the vaccinations.
Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel has also repeatedly announced that an offer will be made to adults that would like to get the vaccine by September 21st of this year to do so.
“At the moment we obviously still have too little vaccine, and part of the population is still critical of vaccination out of concern about possible side effects,” Rummenigge remarked. “Here football can do something very important and set a good example.”
Looking down the road, Rummenigge also feels that the trust footballers could instill in people getting vaccinated could help getting fans back into venues sooner rather than later, which everyone would want.
“The more people vaccinated, the more spectators could one day return to the stadium without any fear,” Rummenigge said. “We at FC Bayern are interested in bringing the atmosphere and emotions back to the stadiums, not just for financial reasons, but also for reasons of football culture. There will be a realistic chance of playing with spectators again by the middle of the year at the latest.”