When COVID-19 vaccines first began emerging, the NBA swore it would not try to jump the line.
That still may or may not be the plan, but the league wants to do its part to help promote inoculation.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver said Tuesday the league is considering administering vaccines to players as part of a public service announcement to encourage the United States’ general population to get vaccinated.
“It’s something we’re particularly focused on,” Silver said during a virtual conference hosted by Sportico. “In the African American community, No. 1, there’s been an enormously disparate impact from COVID. … But now, somewhat perversely, there’s been enormous resistance (to vaccinations) in the African American community for understandable historical reasons.
“… Having said that, 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.”
The focus of the campaign would be aimed at younger generations, too.
“Where our players also have great influence is among young people, who also seem to be hesitating just based on (data),” Silver said.
That said, Silver would not move forward with such a plan unless “public health officials determine on balance it was the right time.”
Silver said health officials he’s consulted believe “there would be a real public health benefit to getting some very high profile African Americans vaccinated.”
Even if the NBA did move forward with a plan like this, it’s unclear exactly when players actually would get inoculated.