Denver Nuggets president of basketball operations Tim Connelly has reportedly spoken with Nuggets’ forward Michael Porter Jr. about his comments on social media regarding his belief that the coronavirus pandemic “is being used for population control.”
Nuggets head coach Michael Malone said he learned about Porter’s comments when he was on the team bus heading to practice on Wednesday morning.
Connelly has not issued a statement as of yet.
“Obviously, I’m not the thought police,” Malone said, according to ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk. “I’m not going to tell any of our players what they can and can’t say. All I would say is just be sensitive to the current situation in our country and throughout the world in regards to coronavirus.
“Michael Porter and any other player on our roster, they’re entitled to their opinions and ability to have free speech, and I will respect that as long as it doesn’t become a distraction. What Michael stated, being around our players this morning at breakfast and practice, has not become a distraction at all.”
“Personally, I think the coronavirus is being used obviously for a bigger agenda,” Porter said on Snapchat.
“It’s being used for population control in just terms of being able to control the masses of people. I mean, because of the virus the whole world is being controlled.”
“You’re required to wear masks,” Porter continued. “And who knows what will happen when this vaccine comes out? You might have to have the vaccine in order to travel. Like, that would be crazy.”
“I know that Tim Connelly, our front office, has talked to Michael about his comments long before I realized what was said,” Malone said. “So it has been [discussed with] him; he understands the situation. Once again, we as an organization, I’m not going to put a muzzle on anybody.
“If somebody has a strong belief on something, they have the platform and freedom to use that. We will just try to educate guys so that they understand the impact of what they may be saying.”
The Nuggets have issues beyond the comments made by the 22-year old forward, as their roster has been hit hard by late arrivals to the NBA Bubble in Orlando, Florida due to both injuries and positive COVID-19 testing.
“Right now, to be honest, I’m not concerned about our seeding,” Malone said. “My number one concern is health. That continues to be a huge concern for me, a huge point of emphasis. Can we find a way to get healthy come Aug. 17 [when the postseason begins]?”
“I have no idea who will be available on Saturday at 1 o’clock against Miami,” he later added. “We had a practice today, and we had quite a few guys that were held out of practice due to injuries and just being very, very cautious. … Because it seems like every day there is a change in the availability of certain players. … Once we have those answers in terms of availability, then we will have a much easier time of figuring out who the hell is going to play for us.”