Report: Many Top NBA Players Wary To Promote COVID-19 Vaccines
With the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccinations and the recommendation that “healthcare personnel and residents of long-term care facilities should be offered the first doses of COVID-19 vaccines” (according to the CDC in December 2020), there are people who fall into a couple camps when it comes to the vaccine. People are anticipating and ready to get vaccinated and there are people who are hesitant and have concerns about it and its side effects.
Many NBA players reportedly fall into the latter camp.
According to ESPN‘s senior NBA insider, Adrian Wojnarowski, “Many of the NBA’s top players are expressing apprehension about accepting invitations to participate in league-sponsored public service announcements to bolster broader acceptance of the coronavirus vaccine, sources told ESPN. The NBA’s outreach to the agents of many of the league’s elite players — with hopes of getting stars to participate in PSAs to promote the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine — has been met with a tepid response, sources said. Player apprehensions about receiving the vaccine are consistent with those that also exist in Black communities throughout the country, agents and players told ESPN.”
Wojnarowski went on to report that “sources describe a number of factors contributing to many players’ reluctance to participate, including uncertainty about taking the vaccine themselves, reluctance to advocate its use for others and resistance to extending favors to a league amid the largely unpopular plans for an All-Star Game.”
In January 2021, ESPN senior writer Brian Windhorst reported that “NBA commissioner Adam Silver said…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. ‘In the African American community, there’s been 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. … If that resistance continues, it would be very much a double whammy to the Black community, because the only way out of this pandemic is to get vaccinated.'”
One example from an NBA player who doesn’t believe in vaccinations is Dwight Howard as he answered a question about it in 2020.
The CDC states: “Each state has its own plan for deciding who will be vaccinated first and how they can receive vaccines”.
The CDC states its recommendations of its phases of who to administer the vaccine to and the next two phases after healthcare personnel and residents of long-term care facilities would be recommendations for “Frontline essential workers…(and) People aged 75 years and older” then it would be recommended for “People aged 65—74 years because they are at high risk of hospitalization, illness, and death from COVID-19…People aged 16—64 years with underlying medical conditions which increase the risk of serious, life-threatening complications from COVID-19…(and) Other essential workers”.
This important debate isn’t just in the NBA. It reaches other professional athletes in other major leagues, as well.
According to The Wall Street Journal‘s Ben Cohen and Andrew Beaton: “NBA, NFL and Major League Baseball officials say a significant percentage of players—perhaps even a majority in some leagues—have expressed concerns about taking the vaccine when it becomes available to them…Both shots that were authorized for emergency use were shown to be very safe and highly effective in large clinical trials. But the mistrust in the Black community of a healthcare system that has discriminated against them is contributing to many athletes’ uneasiness about receiving vaccines that were developed in record time.”
If you are unsure just as many pro athletes are, here’s arguments for the COVID-19 vaccine and arguments against the COVID-19 vaccine, so you can make an informed decision in what’s best for you, your family, and loved ones.
Charlie Lapastora is a sports/news multimedia journalist who’s reported, written, produced, anchored, shot video/edited on different NBC, ABC, and FOX shows in multiple TV markets, along with digital & new media companies. Charlie has traveled the country telling national sports, news, feature, and original stories on a cable news network, airing on top 10 TV markets, satellite radio, and digital platforms. He is passionate about his faith, family—being a husband to whom he calls the G.O.A.T. of women—about reppin’ his home state of Michigan and Detroit teams (yes, including the Lions), good coffee, and loves how sports brings people together. He’s traveled the world leading and coaching sports camps and has also worked at the Detroit Pistons and LA Clippers’ NBA teams.
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