Well-Known Sportscaster: In 20 Years I've Never Seen This Many Stories About Young Athletes Dying - Flashback


Editor’s Note: Our readers responded strongly to this story when it originally ran; we’re reposting it here in case you missed it.

Reports of young, healthy athletes dying continue to pile up.

For example, on Jan. 9, 21-year-old Air Force Academy offensive lineman Hunter Brown suddenly collapsed and died on his way from class to his dorm.

Perhaps cases like this have always happened but, for one reason or another, are only being reported on now.

That being said, according to one veteran sportscaster, the prevalence of these mysterious death stories is unlike anything he’s ever seen before.

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“In the world of sports, we need deep-dive investigations into whether the COVID shot is leading to more deaths of young, otherwise healthy people,” OutKick founder and sports writer Clay Travis said on Jan. 12.

While admitting the stories are anecdotal, Travis cited the tragic cases of Brown and Damar Hamlin before making his point.

“Now, I have been writing and talking about sports for 20 years, nearly,” Travis said. “I don’t remember stories like this happening.”

Do you think something is happening with young, healthy athletes?

“I don’t remember stories about athletes walking on college campuses and suddenly dropping … But the number of high school, college, even pro-athletes who are suddenly just dropping all around the world seems to be a fairly substantial trend.”

Maybe nothing unusual is happening. As Travis said, these are merely anecdotes. Or maybe, just maybe, we shouldn’t have forced young people to get the vaccine.

Especially considering, according to the CDC, more children ages 0 to 17 have died with pneumonia than COVID since 2020.

For adults ages 18-29, the number of deaths involving COVID (6,764) versus pneumonia (6,182) is comparable.

Males in these age groups have an increased chance of suffering heart complications after receiving a COVID vaccine shot, albeit the numbers currently indicate such cases are extremely rare, per the CDC.

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But given how rare COVID complications are for this age group, particularly so for healthy athletes in peak condition, perhaps this risk, however low it may be, was completely unnecessary.

Travis didn’t hold any punches as he began calling out sports media personalities for refusing to look into this disturbing new trend.

“I’m really disappointed by the number of people in sports media who ran like crazy with the idea that if we played sports during COVID, athletes would die … Why are they not asking more questions now that we are seeing so many otherwise young and healthy athletes dropping?” Travis asked.

Again, we still don’t know if these cases add up to anything. It’ll likely be a long time before we have any answers.

That being said, Travis made a good point.

Even before COVID, stories about young, healthy college and even high school athletes dying were rare enough to be big news.

This seems unlike anything the sports world has ever seen.

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Michael wrote for a number of entertainment news outlets before joining The Western Journal in 2020 as a staff reporter. He now manages the writing and reporting teams, overseeing the production of commentary, news and original reporting content.
Michael Austin graduated from Iowa State University in 2019. During his time in college, Michael volunteered as a social media influencer for both PragerU and Live Action. After graduation, he went on to work as a freelance journalist for various entertainment news sites before joining The Western Journal in 2020 as a staff reporter.

Since then, Michael has been promoted to the role of Manager of Writing and Reporting. His responsibilities now include managing and directing the production of commentary, news and original reporting content.
Ames, Iowa
Iowa State University
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