Michael Porter Jr. received backlash on social media after inaccurate comments he made on Snapchat about the coronavirus.
The Nuggets forward was participating in a fan Q&A when he was asked, "Bro speak on this coronavirus being over blown to scare people into being controlled & you know about all that." Porter responded by saying, "that's facts" and continued to elaborate on his conspiracy.
"Personally, I think the coronavirus is being used obviously for a bigger agenda," Porter said. "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. 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."
Michael Porter Jr going off on coronavirus pic.twitter.com/8SaX0Icsva— The NBA Hustle➐ (@TheNBAHustle) July 28, 2020
Porter Jr. was called out on Twitter once his comments were made public, but his own team wanted to talk with him as well. Nuggets president of basketball operations Tim Connelly spoke with Porter, Nuggets coach Michael Malone said.
While Malone said he wouldn't "muzzle" Porter or any player who speaks their mind, he did say people should be aware of what comes out of their mouth.
"Obviously, I'm not the thought police," Malone said on Zoom call, per ESPN. "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."
Malone went on to say that Connelly and Porter came to an understanding.
"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."
Snapchat also responded to Porter by putting him in "time out" for violating their community guidelines.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver also commented on Porter's comments during an interview with CNN.
Adam Silver responds to Michael Porter Jr’s comments on Coronavirus being used for population control. (via CNN) pic.twitter.com/vKZly5ypbH— Legion Hoops (@LegionHoops) July 30, 2020
"It's unfortunate that he said that," Silver said. "I would only say in our league, we have 450 players, guys are young. They're occasionally going to say silly things. I think most people quickly dismissed that comment."