Many of the National Basketball Association’s most popular players are rejecting requests to promote vaccines against the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19, ESPN reported, citing unidentified players and agents.
Invitations from the NBA to many of the league’s best-known players to encourage the general population to get vaccinated through public service announcements or public service announcements and other outlets “have had a lukewarm response,” ESPN reported.
Agents and players have said that the resistance is consistent with general skepticism of the vaccine among American blacks, who according to a survey only 38% have expressed their confidence.
Last season, the Blacks comprised 74% of the NBA team rosters.
Besides being wary of taking it themselves, other reasons for reluctance include promoting its use to others and animosity with the league over the All-Star Game, against which Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James has spoken out.
Thirty NBA games this season have been postponed due to positive tests for the novel coronavirus, contract tracking protocols, and teams not having enough players for the games due to restrictions.
Commissioner Adam Silver told the general managers of league teams in a conference call Tuesday that the NBA could “incentivize” teams and individuals to take and promote the vaccine by relaxing testing protocols and quarantine rules, ESPN said, citing its anonymous sources.
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