Few things on TV are as enjoyable as watching Greg Gutfeld scrap with Geraldo Rivera on Fox News’ “The Five.” On Thursday, the two butted heads when the panel’s discussion turned to vaccine mandates, specifically in the case of Brooklyn Nets point guard Kyrie Irving, who has been effectively benched for refusing to get a COVID-19 vaccination shot.
The city of New York requires indoor entertainment venues, which include Barclays Center, to require proof of vaccination for entry. On Tuesday, the Nets announced that Irving will not play or practice with the team until he submits to the city’s vaccine mandate. Irving so far has stood fast in his position against forcing the vaccination upon anyone, himself included.
Gutfeld was critical of vaccine mandates, saying they are an example of “how disconnected our actions are from risk.”
“It doesn’t matter that a healthy, lean athlete has a different risk than an elderly, obese person,” he said. “We know the risk factors. The key risk factors are age – the older you are – and weight, if you’re obese. But we can’t even broach these topics, so instead, we have these blanket mandates that are just completely wrong.”
(Video: Fox News)
Rivera disagreed, saying of Irving, “When people make a stand like this, and it’s costing him and his family and his children $400,000 a game, there’s something else going on besides his repugnance over the vaccines.”
“It’s called bravery,” retorted Gutfeld. “Maybe, money isn’t the issue.”
“Bravery?!” asked Rivera, incredulously.
Co-host Jesse Watters, for his part, defended the Brooklyn Nets in their decision to bar Irving from playing with the team.
“[Bill] de Blasio put the mandate on New York City. That’s why this is happening. I understand the Nets GM doing this, though. If you have a guy who can only play in road games … he’s going to sit the bench every single home game in Brooklyn while the rest of teammates play, and the whole crowd at the Barclays Center yells at Kyrie Irving?”
“This is a team sport. You need chemistry,” Watters continued. “And Kyrie, he recruited [Kevin] Durant. He recruited [James] Harden to come to Brooklyn to make a run at the title.”
Gutfeld and Rivera went at it again:
“The worst thing about this, we now have created an artificial division,” said Gutfeld. “A couple of years ago, it was race versus race – thank you, CNN – it was gender issues. But now, Geraldo, you’re mad at this guy.”
“I am mad at him,” replied Rivera. “He’s not just hurting himself. He’s hurting everybody!”
“You are being played! You are being played!” his co-host responded.
“You are being stubborn! You’re being block-headed!”
“You are being manipulated to disagree with somebody,” exclaimed Gutfeld. “This is an artificial division, and we shouldn’t play into this. This is what the mandate did.”
Co-host Dana Perino concluded the discussion by saying, “I don’t know why they couldn’t do daily testing. It would cost them less to do daily testing than, I think, to lose the guy for a season.”
“He stands for what he believes in, and you have to respect him for that.”
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