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BATAVIA, Ohio (LifeSiteNews) — University of Cincinnati Clermont’s men’s basketball team will not be playing this year to protest a university-wide COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

Basketball players in UC Clermont told local media that they are collectively against the university’s vaccine mandate, which requires all staff, faculty and students to have had a first dose by October 15, and a second dose by November 15.

Their season is due to start November 6, but the players told Fox19 that they felt they were being forced to take the abortion-tainted injection.

“It’s not as far [sic] as we don’t get it, and we’re just being difficult, we don’t know what’s safe,” said Morris Duffy, a member of the team and a student at the college. “We don’t know what we’re putting in our body, if it’s safe, how our body will react.”

He was supported by teammate Gregory Mash, who said, “I would rather get tested than take the vaccine.”

Meanwhile, another member of the team, Kort Justice, noted that “our families are religious and they’re looking for a different route,” hinting at seeking religious exemptions to the injections. Fox19 reported that while some players were indeed pursuing religious exemptions, they were “mostly seeking alternative options.”

“We don’t get full scholarships to come here, and it can be expensive, so to make us make this type of decision is kind of extreme and tough for a lot of us,” Justice added.

In addition to mandating the hastily developed injections, the university has set up an incentive scheme to “further encourage vaccination,” consisting of weekly awards of either “$2,500 or $5,000.” A total of “nearly $50,000” will be given out to promote the injections.

To qualify for the prize, all those vaccinated must submit “snapshots of your vaccination card (front and back).”

Students, faculty and staff seeking an exemption from the vaccine mandate have until November 1 to apply for one, and if approved, they are required to conduct weekly tests for COVID-19, which will be provided free on campus.

The exemptions themselves are examined by the “University Health Services or Employee Health Services with support from experts in the UC Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases.”

However, students who do not comply with the vaccine mandate, and are not awarded an exemption, will be unenrolled from their spring semester classes.

“We just wanna hoop. That’s about it. We just wanna hoop,” said Ish Ismail, a student athlete.

LifeSiteNews contacted representatives from the university, as well as the men’s basketball coach, seeking further comment on the issue, but was unable to reach anyone by press time.

The team’s collective opposition to the injections is echoed by a number of prominent physicians and medical professionals. Ex-Pfizer vice president Dr. Michael Yeadon pre-empted the team’s concerns by explaining that vaccines are not needed at all for this virus and more recently warning that it is “entirely possible” vaccine campaigns “will be used for massive-scale depopulation.”

Indeed, recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now lists a total of 675,593 reported adverse events following COVID vaccines between December 14, 2020, and September 3, and a total of 14,506 reports of deaths.

Data also records 19,015 total adverse events following the injection, including 1,132 rated as serious and 19 deaths, among 12–17-year-olds in the U.S. in the same time period.

Strongly warning against the injections, New York physician Dr. Nina Pierpont recently published a paper, in which she declared that COVID-19 vaccine mandates are a “potentially harmful, damaging act.” The paper, which examined a number of studies published as recently as August this year, was sub-titled: “Covid-19 vaccines do not keep people from catching the prevailing Delta variant and passing it to others.”

Despite Joe Biden’s comments about having a “pandemic for those who haven’t gotten a vaccination,” analyst Dr. Joseph Mercola noted how the CDC reports breakthrough infections and deaths from COVID-19 so as to promote the view that it is the unvaccinated who are spreading the virus.

Claiming that the CDC is “playing with statistics in other ways to create the false and inaccurate impression that unvaccinated people make up the bulk of infections, hospitalizations and deaths,” Mercola warned that such a scheme “inaccurately inflate[s] the unvaccinated death toll, but it also hides the real dangers of the COVID shots, as the vast majority of deaths from these shots occur within the first two weeks.”

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