Graham Potter has urged people to receive their Covid-19 vaccinations after the “tragic” death of a relative.
The Brighton manager revealed his cousin’s husband died last week after contracting coronavirus, aged just 48, leaving behind two children, having not had either jab.
Premier League players still have mixed views on Covid-19 vaccines, and Potter insisted all views must be respected.
But the 46-year-old admitted his personal stance that he hopes people will take steps to avoid the same fate as his relative.
“I’ve had some tragic experience of someone losing their life that wasn’t jabbed, within our family,” said Potter.
“So I know that it’s dangerous; it was my cousin’s husband and he died last week.
“He was 48, not the same age as the players of course, but young with two young kids, so it’s tragic.
“So of course I would advise that (vaccination), because I don’t want anybody else to go through that.
“But at the same time I also understand people will have concerns, and we have to respect those concerns and try to work with them, educate and help and make sure people come to a decision that feels right for them.
“It was obviously devastating to go through and witness, and tragic for the family, and I wouldn’t wish that on anybody.
“It was a quick illness, he responded badly to it and went downhill really quickly.”
Brighton started the new Premier League season in style with a hard-fought 2-1 win at Burnley last weekend, and will host Watford on Saturday.
Potter knows the return of fans to stadiums will add a major boost to the entire sport, but conceded the situation around Covid-19 and safety will be a long-term consideration.
Asked if he believes views on vaccines are mixed among top-flight players, Potter replied: “Yeah I would say so, it’s not unanimous, there are concerns.
“And it’s important that those concerns are addressed, or answered or communicated.
“I don’t think it’s right that we’re in this polarising situation where it’s black or white, you need to have the jab or not, everybody has to be able to make a choice of course.
“And then it’s about education and support and hopefully everybody can make a decision they are comfortable with and feels right for them.
“Covid, it hasn’t gone away, we’re still living with it, still trying to work out, and probably the reality is no-one really knows for sure because we’ve never been through this before, it’s a new disease we’re all having to get our heads around.
“So we’re not out of it, it’s still going to be there, and we have to be careful, and making sure to adhere to all the safety protocols.
“And we’ve just got to do our best to try to get back to normal, play football, and move the country forwards as best we can.”
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