Cleveland Indians general manager Chris Antonetti said Monday he spoke with pitcher James Karinchak about his anti-coronavirus vaccine stance, and while he defended the player’s right to speak out he said he told him the organization did not agree.
Antonetti addressed Karinchak’s social media post from early April.
“The vast majority of our players and staff opted for the vaccine and continue to follow the protocols around mask wearing, and that’s something we’ll continue to encourage and support. But in the end, people are free to make their own choices and decisions,” Antonetti said.
Karinchak shared a post on his Instagram Stories on April 6, writing “NO FREEDOM UNLESS YOU GET A VACCINE.” He also used a quote from Nazi Hermann Goering while he testified before the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg in 1946.
The quote read: “It was very easy, it has nothing to do with Nazism, it has something to do with human nature. The only thing that needs to be done to enslave people is to get them into a state of FEAR. If you manage to find a way to SCARE people, you can make them do what you want.”
Karinchak was condemned by the Anti-Defamation League of Cleveland after the post. The pitcher later deleted the post from his Stories.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.