Denver Nuggets president of basketball operations Tim Connelly has spoken with Michael Porter Jr. about the Nuggets forward pushing a conspiracy theory that the coronavirus pandemic "is being used for population control."
Connelly did not make a statement, but Nuggets head coach Michael Malone said he learned about Porter's comments -- which were made on a Snapchat Q&A session -- when he boarded the team bus to practice on Wednesday morning.
"Obviously, I'm not the thought police," Malone said during a Zoom session with reporters. "I'm not going to tell any of our players what they can and can't say. All I would say is just be sensitive to the current situation in our country and throughout the world in regards to coronavirus.
"Michael Porter and any other player on our roster, they're entitled to their opinions and ability to have free speech, and I will respect that as long as it doesn't become a distraction. What Michael stated, being around our players this morning at breakfast and practice, has not become a distraction at all."
Porter's comments made headlines as the coronavirus death toll approached 150,000 in the United States and stood at 661,917 around the world on Wednesday.
"Personally, I think the coronavirus is being used obviously for a bigger agenda," Porter, 22, said on Snapchat. "It's being used for population control in just terms of being able to control the masses of people. I mean, because of the virus the whole world is being controlled."
"You're required to wear masks," Porter added. "And who knows what will happen when this vaccine comes out? You might have to have the vaccine in order to travel. Like, that would be crazy."
Malone has repeatedly advocated for his players to speak their minds about nationwide protests against police brutality and not to let NBA games distract from the Black Lives Matter movement.
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