Have Respect! Good Luck Liam Jones!

Liam Jones has called time on his AFL career amid the issue he has had with his reluctance to get the COVID-19 vaccine. After the announcement and the release from the Carlton FC that neither will make no further statement on his decision, the huge dichotomy between supporters and the media makes me ask…what the hell is wrong with people?

I do not understand those that spout respect and the rights of people to choose the life that is for them, then do a 360 and berate and call him names that are anything but respectful. Let me be perfectly clear. I am fully vaccinated! It is my choice, my educated choice not based on conspiracy theories or those spouted on media platforms, but based on a discussion I have had with my GP, whom I have been a patient of his for over twenty years. He knows me. He knows my stance on medication, and he knows my medical history. It is his information and advice that it is the only one that I took on board. He went through the pros and cons, and I made my decision. It was not based on “following the sheep pack”, as some have said those vaccinated are doing.

I am pro-vaccination, but I respect everyone’s decision based on informative knowledge and not websites that promote one way or another, nor those so-called “experts” who are not. No matter who you are, everyone has the right to choose a path that is theirs and theirs alone. If it means not getting vaccinated, then it is their choice. It is also their choice to live in a way that is not steeped in violence but one that, for them, right now, is the only way they can live. It is their choice, and if that means they don’t mix in the community as they would have liked, then so be it. Yes, it would put others in the community in harm’s way, but then again, walking past a person who smokes puts others in harm’s way with the proliferation of secondary smoke inhalation.

But this is not the point of this, well, rant. The way some have treated Jones’s decision shows that they may talk the talk but do not walk the walk in terms of what it means to have respect. Is it based on their limited parameters of the definition of respect? That it is their definition and only theirs that is correct? Has anyone thought that maybe there is more to the story than just a reluctance to get vaccinated? Why should a person, no matter who they are, have to tell us their reasonings? If they want to walk away, then logically, there has to be more than what is being alluded to, doesn’t there?

Social media has become a place that does not “share the good” but displays a nastiness that borders on bullying, harassment and disrespect. Given what the world is experiencing now, shouldn’t we all have more compassion and empathy? Shouldn’t we work together to mend our world rather than fractionalize it even more with the vitriol others spout on social media? What is wrong with people?

I have been appalled by some who post sarcastic and bullying posts directed at our players and supporters on social media. I have chosen not to reply to their posts because I refuse to sink to their level.

I am a Carlton FC supporter, and while in the past year, the club has seen a fracture that I hope in time will mend, and even if I have been critical of how this year has transpired, I have not sunk to a level of name-calling. I have been criticized for my views, but I accept that others have different ideas, but on the whole, I have total respect for their opinions, as long as it is based on logic and not insults.

The tirade from others about Liam Jones’s decision is not respectful, and neither are others’ disregard for his decision. I disagree with it, but I accept it because it is his and his alone and to be honest, I think there is more to this than meets the eye, and whether this is revealed or not, makes no difference to me, and it shouldn’t to you. Accept it. Respect it and move on!

Good luck, Liam Jones!