James Grosvenor: The John Stokes Story

September 24, 2021


American Universities And The NCAA Are Failing Student-Athletes Like John Stokes

By James Grosvenor

The John Stokes story is one of failure on behalf of American universities and organizations like the NCAA to follow data and treat students as free-thinking adults.

Here’s the backstory:

John Stokes’ senior year golf season at Tennessee State University (TSU) has been ruined, and his life is now in jeopardy. The 21 year-old OVC Medal of Honor recipient was diagnosed with myocarditis at Vanderbilt hospital on September 4, four days after receiving his second dose of the COVID-19 Pfizer vaccine. Stokes was unaware of the potential side effects from the COVID-19 vaccines, including the alarming data involving myocarditis in young men from the Pfizer vaccine.

Myocarditis is an inflammation of the heart muscle, which reduces the heart’s ability to pump blood and leads to rapid or abnormal heart rhythms. This condition can often cause symptoms similar to heart attacks, chest pain, shortness of breath, fatigue, and abnormal heartbeats[i].

Stokes had not previously been infected with COVID-19. He had no pre-existing medical conditions. He was a perfectly healthy young athlete. Before receiving the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, Stokes was told by TSU staff there would likely be a vaccine mandate at the university. While there had been no vaccine mandates for Tennessee public universities, state case numbers were climbing due to the delta variant, a few private universities in the state had mandated vaccines, and there was growing public demand for the state to implement mandates at public institutions. Stokes feared he would be unable to participate in his senior season without receiving the vaccine, so he decided to receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.

While in the Vanderbilt hospital being treated for his new health condition, Stokes posted a video on TikTok, warning others about the risks associated with COVID-19 vaccines and stating it is immoral to force people to take them. He was short of breath throughout the video. He called out the NCAA for not informing student-athletes of risk factors associated with the COVID-19 vaccines. Stokes also said he had been in touch with other NCAA student-athletes who have had negative side effects from COVID-19 vaccines, many of them with heart complications. One of his peers needed heart surgery as a result of the vaccine. TikTok removed Stokes’ video as it began to spread, but you can now find it on YouTube[ii].

When it comes to COVID-19 vaccine mandates, there are two different forms of force: hard force and soft force. Hard force exists when an organization excludes unvaccinated people from participation. Soft force occurs when an organization creates significant incentives for members to be vaccinated or penalizes those who are unvaccinated. The NCAA, like many organizations in the country, has chosen the latter, and Stokes felt the pressure.

Here are some facts involving youth, the virus, and vaccination:

The average age of American COVID-19 deaths is 75 years old. The fatality rate for Americans ages 0-19 is 0.003% and 0.02% for those ages 20-49[iii]. 94% of patients who have died from COVID-19 had other complicating conditions, with an average of over 2.6 comorbidities per death[iv]. When you consider Stokes is a healthy 21 year-old student-athlete with no comorbidities, his odds of dying from COVID-19 are almost statistically impossible.

Many studies have shown natural immunity is significantly more effective in preventing COVID-19 infection than the vaccine. The most recent study on this out of Israel, the fourth most vaccinated country per capita[v], shows natural immunity is 27 times more effective in preventing COVID-19 infection than mRNA vaccines[vi].

Recently, another study from Israel shows the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is associated with a threefold increased risk of myocarditis. In the study, among the 21 people with myocarditis the median age was 25 and 90.9% were male[vii]. According to the CDC, VAERS has received 1,377 reports of myocarditis or pericarditis among vaccinated people ages 30 and under[viii]. Scientists from the University of Ottawa, Canada, estimate the prevalence of 10 myocarditis or pericarditis cases for every 10,000 vaccine doses[ix].

There have also been thousands of documented irregular menstrual cycles in young vaccinated women[x]. In fact, the NIH has recently granted $1.67 million to leading medical research institutions like Harvard Medical School and Johns Hopkins University to study this specific side effect of COVID-19 vaccines[xi].

The most overwhelming evidence of negative reactions to COVID-19 vaccines can be seen in the CDC’s VAERS data system. As of August 27, four days before Stokes was vaccinated, there had been over 650,000 reports of negative side effects from COVID-19 vaccines. Of the 650,000 negative reports, over 85,000 cases were serious injuries, over 18,000 were permanent disabilities, and over 13,900 were deaths[xii].

Keep in mind, VAERS data is typically underreported because most people are unaware of the filing process and cases are verified by the CDC[xiii]. To make matters worse, the CDC does not consider patients to be vaccinated until two weeks after their second dose of mRNA vaccines, or first dose of the Janssen vaccine[xiv]. This is despite the fact over 80% of deaths post vaccination occur within the first two weeks[xv].

Facts on responses to COVID-19 by universities and the NCAA:

Tennessee State University athletics compete in NCAA sports. The NCAA is the major governing body of collegiate sports and has put in place strict rules and regulations for all athletic departments, with the strictest restrictions on student-athletes who have not been vaccinated. The NCAA launched a “Resocialization of Collegiate Sport” campaign that has fundamentally changed the everyday lives of student-athletes[xvi]. The campaign includes mandates on the following: daily self-health checks, face coverings during practice and physical conditioning, physical distancing, travel, COVID screenings before returns to campus, transition periods for acclimation, and routine testing.

While the NCAA’s medical team has admitted COVID-19 vaccines fail to prevent the spread of the delta variant, they have simultaneously made sure unvaccinated student-athletes have significantly tougher daily hurdles[xvii]. Nowhere in their white papers do they mention or consider the efficacy of natural immunity. Here are some of the discriminatory procedures the NCAA has mandated:


As we are 18 or so months into living with COVID-19, there are a few things we know about the virus:

1. It poses very little threat to young people, almost none to student-athletes.

2. It overwhelmingly spreads through aerosols, not droplets.

3. 90% of aerosols seep through the commonly worn masks[xviii].

4. The 6-foot social-distancing rule is based on an 80 year-old study, and does nothing to prevent infection[xix].

5. Current vaccines do not prevent the spread of new variants like the delta variant.

6. There are an unprecedented amount of adverse reactions to the current vaccines, especially in young men and women.

7. Natural immunity is more effective in preventing infection than the available vaccines.

8. Mask mandates and lockdowns fail to stop the spread of infection, and have a net-negative impact on mental health, physical health, poverty, starvation, economies, and political climates [xx][xxi][xxii][xxiii][xxiv].

9. Vaccine mandates are unjust and discriminatory[xxv].

The “experts” hired by the NCAA are blatantly ignoring the available science and placing unnecessary hurdles on student-athletes and athletic departments across the country. However, the NCAA is not the only organization to blame. “Best Colleges” documents the colleges that have mandated COVID-19 vaccines in real time, and there are currently over 700 colleges in the United States that have done so as of September 20[xxvi].

The NCAA and American universities are treating students like inept children who are incapable of making their own health decisions. They are forcing a pseudo-science, one size fits all approach on students across the country. In the worst cases, they are openly discriminating against students who have decided not to get vaccinated for COVID-19. How much of this is theatre on behalf of the universities and the NCAA? How much of this is hurting students and student-athletes like John Stokes?

We have started a petition to end the NCAA’s “Resocialization of Collegiate Sport” campaign. You can access it with this link:

[i] [ii] [iii] [iv] [v] [vi] [vii] [viii] [ix] [x] [xi] [xii] [xiii] [xiv] [xv] [xvi] [xvii] [xviii] [xix] [xx] [xxi] [xxii] [xxiii] [xxiv] [xxv] [xxvi]

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