Emmy Griffin / January 4, 2022

Athletes, Vaccines, and Heart Problems

Last year, 400 athletes collapsed unexpectedly with heart problems. The COVID vaccine is the greatest common denominator.

There has been a significant uptick in heart problems amongst highly trained athletes worldwide. In 2021, 400 sportsmen and women collapsed and more than 200 died from heart issues either at practice or in the heat of competition. All had heart problems such as myocarditis, pericarditis, and cardiac arrhythmia that led to heart attacks and heart failure. They had never shown signs of heart problems before, and many of them would know because wearing heart monitors is a common practice in elite training.

The tremendous and suspicious uptick in athletes with heart issues seems to correlate with them having taken a dose (or two or three) of the COVID mRNA vaccine. Legacy news sources have, of course, published their take on why there have been so many collapses and deaths among these athletes. They accuse the unvaccinated players in the Premier League (British soccer) of basically being ignorant and superstitious for not taking the COVID vaccine. However, only 16% of league players are unvaccinated, so that’s hardly the issue at hand. They also call conspiracy theorists those players who are concerned with the fact that teammates are collapsing and dying from heart problems and suspect the vaccine is culpable. After all, Christian Eriksen, they point out, hadn’t taken the vaccine and yet he also collapsed on the soccer pitch.

Athletes collapsing or dying of heart issues is not common, though admittedly it is the most common form of death for an athlete. According to the Mayo Clinic, one in every 50,000 athletes under the age of 35 experiences cardiac arrest. However, six professional soccer players have collapsed on the pitch with cardiac arrest these past few months alone. Moreover, four soccer players died over the Christmas break. (Here is an extensive list of all the athletes who have collapsed or died of heart problems.)

The carnage is worldwide and non-discriminatory in terms of age or sport. To illustrate how weird the numbers are, retired Irish footballer Gary Dempsey wrote, “[I] was a professional for nearly 20 years. From 1996. Played nearly 500 games. Club and international level. Never ever was there 1 cardiac arrest. Either in the crowd or a player. It’s actually quite scary.”

Those who are lucky enough not to die from these complications are forced to stop playing. A high-profile example would be Sergio Aguero, a famous striker for Barcelona and Manchester City. This soccer icon suffered cardiac arrhythmia and had a heart attack on the field. Luckily he survived, but at the age of only 33 he is retiring from professional soccer.

We believe the COVID vaccine is overall beneficial to society. At the same time, we also acknowledge that the novel vaccine is bereft of long-term studies, so the science is hardly fully known, much less settled. If the vaccine isn’t the issue with these athletes, what is the reason for their suddenly having heart problems? It’s an issue that’s worth looking into if those with the means are brave enough to face the answers they find.

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