NBA To Address Vaccine Issue Amid Widespread Concern From Players, Coaches
The NBA will begin mandatory meetings this weekend between its top medical expert and all 30 teams to assuage the concerns of players and at least some coaches about the COVID-19 vaccine.
Dr. Leroy Sims, the NBA’s senior vice president of medical affairs, will meet via Zoom with every team between now and Feb. 19.
A large majority of the NBA’s players are African-American, a community that has been known to be distrustful of vaccines, in large part, due to the Tuskegee syphilis experiment and other examples of treatment for their community.
One player agent estimated that “at least half, if not more” of the league’s players are reluctant to take the vaccine. Another agent said the number will drop following these informational sessions.
“Guys are a bit cautious to get it,” said one player, under the age of 30, who like the rest of the team personnel interviewed for this story was granted anonymity to speak freely about a sensitive subject inside locker rooms.
“I’m not sure,” said a coach, when asked if he’d take the vaccine if it was offered to him. “I think people who need it should get it first.”
“Our players are agnostic at best at this point,” said a team executive.
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