American surfing legend Kelly Slater has been slammed for sharing 'anti-vax nonsense' with fans in a bizarre social media fight on an Aussie satirical news site.
The Betoota Advocate on Sunday shared a satirical article about a father who was proud after stinking up a toilet, prompting Slater to comment 'Dads have no shame'.
But although the story was unrelated to Covid-19, the 11-time world surfing champion was quickly targeted by a man who accused him of posting anti-vaccine content over his social media pages.
'Aren't you the fella who shares anti-vax nonsense on social media? Seems like you have no shame either,' the man wrote.
Slater became defensive, explaining he was not against vaccinations but feared the jab had not been thoroughly tested.
Kelly Slater (pictured with designer Kalani Miler) has come under fire after vowing to not get the Covid vaccine
'Why does this account always end up with these triggered, b***y people who can’t take a joke? And second, I’m not anti vax. I’m anti mandating medical procedures. But I’ve never even pushed that,' he wrote.
The man responded by asking if he would have it once it become available, with the surfer replying 'probably not anytime soon'.
'It hasn’t been studied long enough to know long term cons. A friend’s dad also died a couple days after getting it from blood clots, so there’s that. Think I’ll wait for the antibodies naturally if I get covid,' Slater said.
The sporting champion's views sparked outrage, with many accusing him of not considering how his decision would impact the greater community.
'Yeah, if you get covid you'll develop antibodies, you could also f***ing die,' one person wrote.
'Who cares about anyone you spread it to am I right!?' another added sarcastically.
Others highlighted that the vaccine's side effects were rare and the benefits far outweighed the implications of catching the virus.
'The risk of dying of blood clots from the AstraZeneca vaccine is 0.0004% while the risk of dying of blood clots from coronavirus is 16.5%,' one person said.
The surfing legend said his friend's father recently died after developing blood clots after getting a Covid vaccine. Pictured: Slater riding a wave during the third round of competition in the Billabong Pro surfing tournament on the legendary reef break in Teahupoo, Tahiti, in 2008
'Also if you get it now you’re eligible for the Pfizer vaccine which has even lower rates than AstraZeneca.'
However, some rushed to defend the athlete.
'Nor should you have to [get the vaccine]' one person said.
'The goat giving us even more reasons why he is the goat,' another woman added, making reference to the surfer's nickname.
But after hearing about Slater's reasons for opposing inoculation, the man who started the attack backtracked, admitting he was afraid about blood clots from the vaccine.
'I'm really sorry to hear about your friend's father. I was a bit scared about some people in my family getting the AZ vaccine since they have a history of clots,' he wrote.
The man then claimed he was a scientist and urged Slater to reconsider, arguing the drugs have gone through vigorous testing.
'The vaccines have gone through the same testing process that every other drug and vaccine goes through, ' he wrote.
AstraZeneca has been linked to a rare blood clotting condition which has caused deaths
'The risk of certain side-effects have also been exaggerated...The consequences of contracting COVID are understood and they are known to occur at significantly higher rates and at much greater severity than in any vaccine.'
The AstraZeneca vaccine has come under scrutiny worldwide due to concerns of a link to blood clots that killed several people after they had the jab.
Earlier this year, the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation ruled that the Pfizer was the recommended jab for those under 50 due to the risk of developing the rare blood clotting condition.
AusVaxSafety, a national immunisation surveillance system, estimates Australians who get the jab have a 50 per cent chance of developing side effects.
Symptoms can include fever, headache, chills, and muscle aches.