Denver Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr. said he won't get the COVID-19 vaccine despite already contracting the virus twice.
"For me, I had COVID twice, I saw how my body reacted, and although the chances are slim with the vaccine, there's a chance you could have a bad reaction to it," Porter said, per Mike Singer of the Denver Post. "For me, I don't feel comfortable."
The NBA reportedly plans to install stricter protocols for unvaccinated players, including being separated from vaccinated teammates during travel. Shams Charania of The Athletic reported vaccinated players will not be tested regularly while unvaccinated players need two negative tests on game days.
The league is still falling short of creating a mandate to be vaccinated, which Porter supports:
"My stance on the mandate is it definitely shouldn’t be a mandate. It should be everyone's decision. I see it both ways. If you want to get it because you feel more protected and you feel safer, and it's protecting people around you, get it. That's good for you. But if you feel like, 'Oh, for me, I don't feel safe getting it, then don't get it.'"
Other NBA players, including Bradley Beal, Jonathan Isaac and Andrew Wiggins have said they have not yet received a vaccination. Kyrie Irving has not confirmed his status.
Porter is not the only unvaccinated player on the Nuggets, per Singer.
The 23-year-old had previously made headlines for discussing COVID-19 conspiracy theories on social media.
"Personally, I think the coronavirus is being used obviously for a bigger agenda," Porter said on Snapchat in July 2020, via Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN. "It's being used for population control in just terms of being able to control the masses of people. I mean, because of the virus the whole world is being controlled."
Porter has since tested positive for the virus but has chosen not to get vaccinated.
Denver will hope this doesn't lead to any missed time after the talented player recently signed a five-year, $207 million extension, via Tim Bontemps of ESPN.
The 6'10" forward is coming off a breakout 2020-21 campaign in which he averaged 19.0 points per game, more than double his previous season's average of 9.3. Porter added 7.3 rebounds per game last season while shooting 44.5 percent from three-point range.