Why ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. won’t be in Las Vegas for the 2022 NFL Draft

For 38 years, Mel Kiper Jr. has been a staple of ESPN’s NFL Draft coverage, and he’ll play a starring role again in 2022. This year, however, the network will have to work with the draft guru broadcasting from a distance because he is not vaccinated. for COVID-19.

The draft, being held in Las Vegas, requires the media there to be vaccinated. In a reportKiper reiterated that he would still be working on the project and said his decision not to get vaccinated was “very specific to [his] personal medical history. »

The NFL Draft is the highlight of my year and I can’t wait to play my 39th this month on ESPN. For all three days, I will be appearing from my home studio in Maryland rather than on location in Vegas as I am not vaccinated against COVID-19.

I fully support everyone in determining what is best for their personal situation and I recognize the value of vaccines. Simply put, my COVID vaccination decision is very specific to my own personal medical history.

I appreciate my colleagues, especially the production team and my fellow commentators, for their support and flexibility. NFL fans are the most passionate of all sports and I can’t wait for another great NFL Draft.

ESPN said Kiper and Louis Riddick will serve as analysts for the network’s three-day draft coverage, with Booger McFarland joining them on the first two nights.

While the hope, of course, is that the broadcast goes off without a hitch, there have been recent hiccups in the remote streaming of live events. The Los Angeles Angels in particular have been plagued with technical issues that their East Coast-based play-by-play announcer Matt Vasgersian called “embarrassing,” though ESPN may have a slightly more setup. elegant.

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