Hank Aaron got his COVID vaccine shot on Tuesday — and he did it in front of cameras in the hopes of inspiring other Black Americans to follow his lead.
The 86-year-old Hall of Famer masked up and went to the Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta along with his wife Billye to receive the first of two doses of the Moderna vaccine.
“[It] makes me feel wonderful,” Aaron told the Associated Press … “I don’t have any qualms about it at all.”
“I feel quite proud of myself for doing something like this. … It’s just a small thing that can help zillions of people in this country.”
The Aarons were joined at Morehouse by civil rights leader Andrew Young and former U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Louis Sullivan, who were also vaccinated.
The decision to go public with their vaccinations stems from mistrust many Black Americans have about medical research — mistrust that stems from the Tuskegee experiment, which began in the 1930s.
The federal government essentially lied to Black people for decades — telling them they were getting free health care, when in fact they received horrifically improper care so the U.S. Public Health Service could secretly study the effects of syphilis when untreated. 128 people died and many others suffered.
In fact, the AP conducted a survey back in December which showed 40% of Black people in America would not get the COVID vaccine, even though COVID has hit the Black community particularly hard.
Hammerin’ Hank Aaron is one of the greatest baseball players of all time — he famously broke Babe Ruth‘s home run record in 1973.
During his legendary career, he made 25 All-Star teams and won the NL MVP in 1957.