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ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. won't attend the NFL Draft in Las Vegas because he's unvaccinated

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ESPN’s NFL Draft expert Mel Kiper Jr. says he will NOT attend the annual event next week in Las Vegas because he’s unvaccinated due to his ‘personal medical history’ and will instead report from his home studio in Maryland

  • ESPN’s NFL Draft expert Mel Kiper Jr. will not be attending the annual event next week in Las Vegas because he is unvaccinated and the network has a mandate
  • Instead Kiper, 61, said he will be reporting from his home studio in Maryland 
  • Kiper does not appear to be making a stand against ESPN’s vaccine mandate, but rather says he has a medical history that dictated his decision
  • This year’s NFL draft begins on April 28 and runs through April 30 in Las Vegas
  • Kiper began publishing his draft guide in 1981 is a mainstay of ESPN coverage

ESPN’s NFL Draft expert Mel Kiper Jr. will not be attending the annual event next week in Las Vegas, but will instead be reporting from his home studio in Maryland because the 61-year-old remains unvaccinated.

Kiper does not appear to be making a stand against ESPN’s vaccine mandate, but rather says he has a medical history that dictated his decision.

‘The NFL Draft is the highlight of my year and I am looking forward to taking part in my 39th this month on ESPN,’ Kiper said in a tweeted statement. ‘For all three days, I will appear from my home studio in Maryland rather than onsite in Vegas as I am unvaccinated from Covid-19.

ESPN's NFL Draft expert Mel Kiper Jr. will not be attending the annual event next week in Las Vegas , but will instead be reporting from his home studio in Maryland because the 61-year-old remains unvaccinated

ESPN’s NFL Draft expert Mel Kiper Jr. will not be attending the annual event next week in Las Vegas , but will instead be reporting from his home studio in Maryland because the 61-year-old remains unvaccinated

‘I completely support everyone determining what’s best for their individual circumstance and recognize the value of vaccines,’ he continued. ‘Simply put, my Covid vaccination decision is very specific to my own personal medical history.

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

This year’s NFL draft begins on April 28 and will run through April 30.

Kiper began publishing his own draft guide in 1981 and has been a mainstay of NFL Draft television coverage since 1984. Along the way, he’s helped transform the annual event into a year-round story, with regular mock drafts and insider reports throughout the season and off-season.

ESPN spokespeople did not immediately respond to DailyMail.com’s request for comment.

Although he did not attack the network’s vaccine policy, other anchors have done so, including SportsCenter’s Sage Steele and now-former sideliner reporter Allison Williams, who has since joined a conservative website, the Daily Wire, rather than stay with ESPN and receive the vaccine.

Steele, meanwhile, was suspended by ESPN after criticizing the network and the Walt Disney Company’s employee vaccine mandate, while also questioning former President Barack Obama’s decision to identify as an African American.

She later apologized and has since returned to the network.

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