This week is the kickoff of the 2021 NFL season.

Fans waited seven months for the games to return.

And this big-name ESPN host just issued a major threat to NFL players.

The sports media – just like the corporate political media – is all in on forcing everyone to get vaccinated.

Stephen A. Smith – the biggest name at ESPN – ranted that if he was NFL Commissioner, Smith would have forced every NFL player to get vaccinated.

“They’re lucky I ain’t running the NFL,” Smith ranted “Best Interest of the League Clause. You wouldn’t play. If it were me — I tried to talk to the players association. We couldn’t come to an agreement. Coaches, staff, other folks employed by the leagues have to be vaccinated. The only people that it’s not mandated for are the players because they have a union, the players association, that’s protecting them from what? Because I’ve got news for you. You ain’t protecting them, and you ain’t protecting us. The reality is that if you end up testing positive, you can have an effect on somebody else, OK?”

Smith rejected the idea – that’s been a foundational principle – that vaccination and all health decisions are a personal choice.

“I think it’s shameful when athletes talk about, ‘Oh it’s a private matter,’” Smith fumed. “It is not a private matter because it affects anybody that’s standing right next to you. … You’re not living a private life. This is ridiculous.”

The fervor with which the corporate media supports mandatory vaccination strikes many Americans as odd and even frightening.

Vaccines are readily available and appear to reduce the chances of severe illness or death.

A vaccinated person is protected, and an unvaccinated person accepts the risks that come with that choice although the coronavirus survival rates for health adults is over 99.5 percent.

Some Americans may not want the vaccine and others may not need it due to the fact that they already recovered from a coronavirus infection.

93 percent of NFL players took the vaccine although there are some notable exceptions like Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins.

But the vaccine is not a be-all, end-all for preventing infections and keeping players off the COVID list.

Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill tested positive for coronavirus after admitting he only took the vaccine because the NFL made lives for unvaccinated players impossible to live.

Sports with Balls will keep you up-to-date on any new developments in this ongoing story.