Everyone has the right to refrain from vaccination against corona. Nobody has to explain why they are exercising this right. No further justification is required. You have to endure this freedom. It belongs to the essence of the free state. At the weekend it was made public that Joshua Kimmich is one of those professionals at Bayern who have made use of this right. The discussion about it dwarfed every other question on Matchday 9. That is understandable. Every citizen in this country is confronted with the vaccination issue. For the last ten months it has been the crucial question of how we organize our coexistence.

However, freedom also includes being able to criticize a decision like Kimmich's. There are good reasons for it. From a purely legal point of view, the Bundesliga as the organizer and FC Bayern as an employer already have good arguments on their side to enforce compulsory vaccinations for their employees. Unvaccinated professionals have a demonstrably higher risk of getting more seriously ill with corona. You can be out longer, the risk of game being canceled increases.

It also stands to reason that clubs that use the 2G rule for visitors in their stadiums can also require their players to have a vaccination.

Or else they are allowed to take leave unpaid.

This is the case in other countries.

In addition, it is impossible in a sport with physical contact to keep the distance that other employees can.

These special conditions can also give rise to legal obligations, not just moral ones.

Kimmich is a great role model

It is also clear that, like his colleagues, Kimmich has benefited from political decisions that made it possible for professional football to resume operations earlier than any other in the sports and entertainment industry, to bring in money and to finance salaries in the millions.

This also results in an obligation.

And not to be forgotten: During the pandemic, the then Bayern board member had advertised Rummenigge with the role model character, which could also come from football stars in the vaccination issue; at a time when not enough vaccine was available on the German market. The advertising obviously served the goal of securing league competition and thus the own business model with a faster vaccination of the players.

Kimmich is a great role model in football. Not least with his WeKickCorona campaign initiated by Leon Goretzka, he has earned recognition. This earnings will not decrease because he does not need a vaccination. But it is also clear that those who believe in conspiracy stories about Corona and spread them now see the Bayern star as a particularly credible role model and will use him for this. Even if he obeys all the rules.

The pressure that the government refused to exert was shifted into society.

This dilemma also becomes apparent when the outcry in the Kimmich case is made.

You shouldn't be surprised when many people who had themselves vaccinated for reasons of solidarity now see a spoiled professional footballer in Kimmich who thinks he is something better.

He thinks he knows better - against the majority of the professional world.

After everything that can be said medically about vaccination results and media about images, this picture emerges: The damage to Kimmich's image will be significantly greater than any vaccine damage that threatens him.

But that too is a price to be paid for freedom.