The NFL is taking a hardline stance on vaccinations. Singer Victory Boyd had her appearance to sing the National Anthem canceled because of her refusal to vaccinate.
Boyd was set to sing the anthem at the NFL’s opening season game on September 9th. But emails sent to Boyd’s father and manager, John Boyd, made it clear that the gig was canceled because of the singer’s refusal to vaccinate. “As I understand that Victory will not be fully vaccinated by the time of the Kickoff game, she would not have been able to comply with the terms of the Game Day Field Access Policy,” NFL Senior Director for Media and Entertainment Events Seth Dudowsky wrote. “And as a result, we unfortunately will not be able to invite Victoria to perform the National Anthem at this year’s Kickoff game.”
NFL Game Day Field Access Policy requires all individuals who enter the playing field and sidelines to be fully vaccinated. ‘Fully vaccinated’ status is granted after 14 days have passed since receiving the final dose of the required vaccine sequence. 27 year-old Victory Boyd has twice before sung the National Anthem at NFL games.
Since news of the negotiations with the NFL broke down, Boyd posted about the incident on Instagram. She says she doesn’t want to receive the vaccine for religious reasons and feels the NFL has discriminated against her with its policy.
“I’ve made peace with not being able to sing the National Anthem tomorrow for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. But I have not and will not make peace with the re-emergence of segregation and discrimination. This is not okay and it’s about time that we say so,” she writes on Instagram.
“If I want to take the vaccine, the decision will be between myself, my doctor and my God,” she writes. The NFL reports that around 93% of players and more than 99% of coaches and team staffers are vaccinated.
Many teams are looking to require fans to be fully vaccinated or provide proof of a negative test to be granted entry to the stadium. The NFL is interested in implementing a vaccine requirement for all players, but the NFL Players Association has not consented to that. That’s because some players feel the same way as Victory Boyd.
“It’s a personal decision for me and my family,” Indianapolis Colts quarterback Carson Wentz told the press at a news conference. “I respect everybody else’s decision, and I just ask that everybody does the same for me.”