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Ex-NBA champ urges end to ‘iron fist’ lockdowns, claims influencers & police are being prevented from speaking about Covid (VIDEO)

Ex-NBA champ urges end to ‘iron fist’ lockdowns, claims influencers & police are being prevented from speaking about Covid (VIDEO)
Giant Australian basketball star Andrew Bogut has blasted tight Covid-19 restrictions and claimed that he was made a mysterious financial offer to tell the public to stay at home and follow government regulations.

2015 NBA champion Bogut is based in Victoria, where people are not allowed to travel more than 5km (3.2 miles) from their homes under rules aimed at curbing the spread of the potentially deadly coronavirus.

The 7ft former center, whose former sides include the Golden State Warriors and the Los Angeles Lakers, admitted he was ranting as he warned that people would "see that police chopper over your head" if they stayed outside for too long.

"Yes, I should be quiet," said the 36-year-old, responding to critics who pointed out that he is not a medical expert.

"I've got my money, a beautiful home, nice cars. I'm never wanting. Theoretically, I should shut the f*ck up and not create any negative publicity for myself, for the media smashing me for my views on things, for people calling me a conspiracy theorist.

"You're making my point: I'm getting nothing from speaking up for everyday people at all. I'm not running for politics. In fact, I lose marketing deals and sponsorships for my views, for speaking up for people who I once was: the working class."

Bogut suggested that few athletes and celebrities had spoken against restrictions because they had been given incentives not to do so.

"It's one percent, two percent [of them] at best, that are speaking up against this government in Australia," he said, mentioning "actors, actresses" and "people 'getting a nice boob job'".

"You athletes and influencers who have marketers behind you, pushing to the plebs that buy your sh*t: where's your voice? Where are you, speaking up?

"I was deemed [an] essential [worker] because I was on TV. The people who are laborers are deemed not essential? No, I'm not rowing.

"About three or four months into this pandemic, I got a message from somebody. I'm not going to name who it was or where it came from.

"I got offered money to put out a public service announcement for you everyday plebs to stay home."

That included telling his audience to "do your duty" and "do the right thing for the community", Bogut said.

"I refused to do that sh*t. I was once that person who was told, 'you're not essential.' So put two and two together: why do you think a lot of these people haven't put messages out?

"Athletes in our biggest leagues in Australia have been told, 'you're not to make anti-government, anti-lockdown statements – period.'

"Even when the lockdown was ended, there were still restrictions. You couldn't go anywhere.

"I want to let people know what goes on behind the scenes. Why certain people cannot speak up.

"It's the same as police I speak to here in Victoria. They want to speak out but they know that if they speak out, it's 'bye bye, job. I'm going to get sh*tty shifts if they demote me.' Pension, benefits could all go out the window.

"Most people think it's a load of sh*t. There are people who think we've exhausted lockdowns, [asking] 'can we tweak it a little bit? Make it make more sense?'"

The father-of-two received plenty of support, while others were more critical.

"The solution is, we have to wait until 80 percent of the whole population is vaccinated," responded one.

"Until then, stay home. Until then, wear masks. Until then, we need to do what’s best for our loved ones and community."

Another said: "If I want to know something about basketball, I'll ask Andrew. As far as the virus goes, I'll heed the advice of the health professionals."

It appears unlikely that those views will quell Bogut's misgivings. "I still want to see a documented case in outdoor transmissions to shut kids' playgrounds down, to shut construction sites down," he said. "Have we seen those yet? Is it one, in the world, maybe?

"The numbers don't support shutting down schools right now. As far as I've read, there's one person who's passed away from it: a 15-year-old in Sydney who was admitted to hospital with meningitis. We've yet to see anything definitive around outdoor submission.

Warning: video contains swearing

"There has to be a balance between letting it rip – people say 'you want to just open it up and let people die' – but I also don't want to have these iron fist lockdowns. I think they're doing more harm than good.

"It's crazy and just something that we need to keep chatting about in the open.

"We need to hold our politicians, our councillors, on full f*cking wages, [to account on] dictating when you can work and not.

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"I blame the people saying that these restrictions are 100 percent correct. I blame you, people."

Australia has recorded fewer than 1,000 deaths from Covid-19 infections since the start of the pandemic, with the country's low mortality figures as a result of the virus widely credited to its closed-border policy, tight quarantine rules and quick test-and-trace systems.

Prime minister Scott Morrison has argued in recent days that the country should proceed with plans to reopen and end lockdowns despite warnings that case numbers are too high.

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