Radio shock jock Howard Stern seems to have one thing on his mind: vaccines, vaccines, vaccines – and he wants famed sports broadcaster, Al Michaels, to deliver a PSA about them during the Super Bowl on Sunday.
Speaking with the legendary broadcaster on his SiriusXM show on Tuesday, Stern said he should tell his massive audience to get the jab.
“I know with sports, you can’t be controversial,” Stern said. “No one’s there to hear your opinion. I get all that. But…Al, please — when you’re on there and you got 100 million people, tell them to get vaccinated for Christ’s sake. You know what I mean?
HOUSTON, TX – DECEMBER 13: Television announcer Al Michaels watches the Houston Texans warm up before the Texans play the New England Patriots on December 13, 2015, at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
“Don’t you ever wish you could sort of break out and say what you feel?” added Stern. “Wouldn’t it be great to advocate a bit?”
Keeping it apolitical through his nervous laugh, Michaels said that people just want to watch the game and avoid politics.
“You’re right. When people tune in to watch the game, they want to watch the game,” said Michaels. “There’s a lot of stuff going on in sports around the game.”
Michaels noted that he and his other broadcasters have opinions, but they choose not to share them to keep the focus on what people came to see: the game.
“It’s not that Chris Collinsworth and I and Michele Tafoya don’t have opinions. We do. The structure of what’s happening in the middle of the game doesn’t allow you to do that,” he said. “And all that would do is piss a lot of people off, if you started going in that direction.”
“I know with sports you can’t be controversial. No one’s there to hear your opinion … When you’re on there and you got 100 million people tell them to get vaccinated for Christ’s sake,” @HowardStern pleaded with Super Bowl broadcaster Al Michaels. https://t.co/MhFl5mmLIG pic.twitter.com/dKN3Kw4ASr
— Mediaite (@Mediaite) February 8, 2022
Sports broadcaster Bob Costas famously learned this lesson the hard way in 2012 and 2013 when he used segments during the game to deliver a political message, such as when he rebuked the Washington Redskins name as an offensive slur or when he used the Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher murder-suicide to discuss gun control.
As for Howard Stern, his rhetoric during the coronavirus pandemic has become more extreme, having previously criticized star athletes Kyrie Irving and Aaron Rodgers. Most recently, Stern suggested that unvaccinated Americans should be denied medical treatment.
“If you don’t get it, in my America, all hospitals would be closed to you. You’re going to go home and die. That is what you should get,” Stern said.