Malachy Clerkin: Callum Robinson pile-on has all been a bit purer than pure

Why should any of us care why a young footballer will not take a Covid-19 vaccine?

Republic of Ireland manager Stephen Kenny with Callum Robinson after the World Cup qualifier against Serbia at the Aviva Stadium last September. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Republic of Ireland manager Stephen Kenny with Callum Robinson after the World Cup qualifier against Serbia at the Aviva Stadium last September. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Earlier this summer, a conversation I was having with someone involved in sport meandered its way around to talking about Covid and vaccines and all that good stuff. It was idle chit-chat really and only came up because I had been in for my first jab the previous week. The person I was talking to kind of hesitated, as if unsure how to respond. “Yeah, I’ll probably get it at some stage,” came the reply.

I started into a bit of light-hearted teasing about anti-vaxxers and so forth, only to be met by a further pause. “Well, it’s just, em, we’re in the process of maybe, hopefully, having a baby and we’re talking to the doctor about it and it’s all just a bit up in the air at the moment, you know?” At which point I rushed to apologise and retreated from the conversation like it was a burning building and I was wearing runners filled with jet fuel.

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