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By Tony Candela
Today I play with the word ‘judge’, with comments about the nomination of ketanji brown Jackson and the non-vaccinated status of the Yankees’ Aaron Judge. I am sure Judge Jackson will be confirmed despite Republican extraction of their pound of flesh, due mostly to their compulsive mean-spiritedness. Notwithstanding, Judge Jackson is probably as qualified as anyone and will hopefully maintain a more liberal view of how we should exist in the world. Perhaps we will be surprised and she will occasionally sway the more conservative Justices a little bit leftward. I worry that Judge Jackson’s nomination, similar to that of Kamala Harris, is a bit too contrived. It is not that either is unqualified; it is that this form of “affirmative action” is still necessary in American society. If President Biden didn’t simply make and keep a well-considered yet risky promise, it is unlikely either woman would have been nominated. We still have a long way to go.
As for one of my favorite Yankees, I am disappointed and angry at Aaron Judge for being among several Yankees and Mets who have not gotten vaccinated against the COVID 19 virus. I’ve heard Judge speak once, cagily hinting at the freedom to choose and his desire to be a Yankee forever. If the City of New York doesn’t change its policy which perhaps rightly lags behind all other major cities in the U.S., the Yankees and Mets who have not been vaccinated will suffer the fate of Kyrie Irving. Mr. Irving, unvaccinated, is a fantastic basketball player with the NY Nets who has not been permitted to play in home games but has been allowed to play in every away game. New York has a very large population and should be more protective than most cities, but it probably needs to make exceptions for professional athletes. Just the same, I am angry at Aaron Judge. He has shown signs of quirkiness over the years, up and down in his performance, sometimes superlative and more often it seems in slumps. He is somewhat more injury-prone than many. His unvaccinated status doesn’t surprise me. He is biracial and like many “minorities” in this country, he probably fears the vaccine. I heard one writer on NPR add the ‘invincibility’ factor, that is, super-athletes may think they are masters of powerful bodies and that nothing can touch them. I will repeat my mantra: Those who do not get vaccinated provide safe haven for the COVID19 virus and allow it to mutate, thus prolonging the pandemic. Now that we have more people vaccinated and treatment methods to ameliorate COVID symptoms are growing in efficacy, concerns that many will die and the healthcare system will be overwhelmed are reduced, but those are still real possibilities. Yes, we still have a long way to go.
Anthony R. Candela, Author
Saying aloud what should not remain silent.
Stand Up Or Sit Out: Memories and Musings Of a Blind Wrestler, Runner, and All-around Regular Guy
A memoir about life lessons learned, especially through sports
Vision Dreams: A Parable
A sci-fi novella about how a dysfunctional society forces people to go to extremes, including four blind people who seek out artificial vision.
Christian Faith Publishing, 2019
Tony Candela has worked as a Rehabilitation Counselor, supervisor, manager consultant and administrator for more than 40 years in the field of blindness and visual impairment. His work has included promoting literacy and employment of blind persons and a special interest in enhancing the career preparation of blind persons who wish to work in the computer science field. He is a “retired” athlete, loves movies, sports, reading, writing, and music, including dabbling in guitar. Read more at