The NBA, as you well know, has been hit pretty hard with COVID and contact tracing issues. Games have been postponed. The Sixers haven’t been at full strength for almost two weeks now, and they twice beat a Miami team that could only field a single-digit amount of players.
As such, the league is talking about the idea of essentially jumping the line to get players vaccinated, but justifying it by asserting that it would serve as a pseudo-public service announcement to get people to buy in.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver said Tuesday the league has discussed having players receive COVID-19 vaccines to educate and influence the public regarding their safety and effectiveness.
“There have been discussions. It’s something we’re particularly focused on,” Silver said at a virtual conference hosted by Sportico.
Some public health experts, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institutes of Health, have said that leaders with large platforms such as ministers, entertainers and athletes can set an example by getting the vaccine.
“Several public health officials — and this is operating state by state right now — have suggested there would be a real public health benefit to getting some very high-profile African Americans vaccinated to demonstrate to the larger community that it is safe and effective,” Silver said.
What do you think?
Charles Barkley was absolutely lambasted last week when he suggested that NBA players get the vaccine because they pay a lot in taxes. Nevermind the fact that we still haven’t gotten needles in the arms of all essential workers and at-risk Americans.
But if Silver thinks putting NBA players at the front of the line is a means to an end, then perhaps the reasoning is sound. It wouldn’t require a lot of vaccines to get all of the coaches, players, and refs taken care of, but the optics would look pretty weak. That seems to be the consensus on social media, the thought that professional athletes should wait their turn, just like everybody else.