It seems as if the NBA could indeed have its players at the front of the line for the COVID-19 vaccine after all.
Commissioner Adam Silver was asked about this possibility on Tuesday during a conference call with Sportico, acknowledging that “there have been discussions” to have the league’s players vaccinated as part of a public messaging campaign to encourage others to do the same.
“It’s something that we’re particularly focused on,” Silver said. “Because I would just say in the African-American community, number one, there’s been enormously disparate impact from Covid. …But now, somewhat perversely, there’s been enormous resistance in the African-American community – for understandable historical reasons – resistance to getting vaccinated.”
Silver continued: “If that resistance continues…it would be very much a double whammy to the Black community because the only way ultimately out of this pandemic is to get vaccinated.”
Silver raises an interesting point and the NBA, which is predominantly Black, could certainly help others feel more comfortable receiving the vaccine which would be a public health benefit.
However, Silver said back in December that “in no form or way” the NBA would jump the vaccine line.
The NBA has struggled with COVID outbreaks early on this season, with several games being postponed in recent weeks.
Yet, Silver stressed that the league would not receive the vaccinations unless public health officials deemed the time was appropriate.
“I will repeat something that goes without saying: Anything that we will do will be fully transparent and in conjunction with public health authorities so there’s no sense whatsoever that there’s some favoritism going on here,” he said. “That it would only be done if public health officials ultimately determine on balance it was the right time to vaccinate our players.”