Sporting KC players fully vaccinated; Chiefs heading that direction

Sporting KC players fully vaccinated; Chiefs heading that direction


KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The masks are off, stadiums are open to full capacity, and Kansas City’s sports teams are dealing with less COVID-19 distractions this year.

Sporting KC and Major League Soccer led the way to getting back on the field during the pandemic with the MLS is Back bubble tournament in 2020.

Keeping with the trend, every Sporting player is now fully vaccinated, the team said.

“What you’ve had to be is adaptable. That’s the big thing because so many things have changed from when it all stared,” Sporting KC manager Peter Vermes said. “I think one of the things our group did really well is not getting caught up in why do we do that, just get on with the next thing.”

The league’s COVID-19 safety protocols are still in place. Players can’t go to clubs or bars, can’t host an indoor house party, and can’t attend an indoor music concert, among other things.

But things are a little different for the Kansas City Chiefs. All players aren’t fully vaccinated, but the team said they’re heading in that direction.

“Our numbers are trending way up compared with the other teams. We’re right there. One of the top teams with having vaccinations,” Chiefs head coach Andy Reid said.

Still, Reid said he won’t force his players to get vaccinated.

“It’s not a pressure. You don’t sit here as an organization and pressure these guys. It’s something that they want to do. So that’s where we’re at,” he said. “It feels good go out on the field without a mask and practice. Your mind’s not onto what you have to do next as far as cover.”

Offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy said the Chiefs coaching staff and administration have all gotten their COVID-19 vaccine shots.

But it’s still going to take some time getting used to things and getting back to normal.

“I don’t know if you actually get back to the ways of the normal world as we used to know it. I still find myself putting a mask on every now and then when I’m coming in the building,” Bieniemy said.

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