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Unvaccinated Kansas City Royals and Philadelphia Phillies Major League baseball players take a stance against Canada’s vaccine requirements

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Unvaccinated Kansas City Royals and Philadelphia Phillies Major League baseball players have refused to play against the Blue Jays in Toronto due to Canada’s vaccine requirements.

According to a report by ESPN, the Kansas City Royals Team will attend a four-game series in Toronto without half of their team.

The ten Major League players; including four of the teams’ top hitters and two of their best starting pitchers; who have made a choice not to participate in the Canada tour will be placed on a restricted list, meaning they will forfeit both the salary and service time over the four-game period and the Royals will be forced to fill positions with players from its Triple-A and Double-A affiliates.

The players who have chosen to stay behind include outfielder Andrew Benintendi, super-utility man Whit Merrifield, catcher MJ Melendez, catcher Cam Gallagher, first baseman/outfielder Hunter Dozier, right-hander Brad Keller, right-hander Brady Singer, center fielder Michael A. Taylor, outfielder Kyle Isbel, and reliever Dylan Coleman.

Team president Dayton Moore said the team supports the player’s decisions. In a statement, Moore said,

“At the end of the day, it’s their choice. It’s what they decide to do. And we’ve always been an organisation that promotes and encourages individual choices. Unfortunately, some of this affects the team.”

“We’re disappointed in some of that, but we realize it’s part of the game and part of the world we live in. We’re just really looking forward to providing these players and opportunity who are getting a chance to play in Toronto,” Moore said.

Mike Matheny, the Royals manager, also showed his support for the player’s decisions, saying,

“It’s an individual choice. The organization’s done a real good job bringing in professionals and experts to talk guys through tough conversations and put it in their hands to make the decisions they believe is best for them and their families.”

In response to questions about their decisions, Royals player Andrew Benintendi said,

“For me, it was a personal decision,” he said, “And I’m going to leave it at that.”

Whit Merrifield said,

“Right or wrong, I didn’t do it on a whim.”

“It’s been a long thought process because I understand what Canada has in place right now.”

While Merrifield told ESPN that things might change ‘down the road,’ he said,

“But as we sit here right now, I’m comfortable with my decision, my teammates support me, support the rest of the guys in here who have made that decision, and that’s that.”

The ten Kansas City Royals players are not the only Major League baseball players to have made the same decision to miss out on the Toronto leg of the tour based on their vaccine stance.

Philadelphia Phillies catcher J.T Realmuto said he would not participate due to Canada’s vaccination rules.

Along with Realmuto, the other Phillies Major League players who chose to forfeit the Toronto leg were players Alec Bohm, Aaron Nola, and Kyle Gibson.

While NBC Sports reported that Realmuto’s decision has seen him forfeit $263,000, the Phillies catcher said he stood by his non-political and strictly personal decision. When asked what kind of reaction he might receive following his decision, Realmuto said,

“I’ve got the support of this clubhouse and the people around me.”

After missing the Toronto series, Realmuto and teammates Bohm, Nola, and Gibson rejoined the team for Friday night’s game against the Miami Marlins.

Realmuto made headlines earlier this week by stating that he would not let Canada tell him what to put in his body.

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