Skip to main content
Publish date:

NBA Considers COVID-19 Vaccine for Players As Public Service Announcement

NBA commissioner Adam Silver said Tuesday the league has discussed giving players the COVID-19 vaccine to educate and influence the public.

"It's something we're particularly focused on," Silver said in a virtual conference hosted by Sportico. "In the African American community, 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."

"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."

Silver said he has spoken with numerous public health officials on the matter, many of whom believe "there would be a real public health benefit to getting some very high profile African Americans vaccinated." Silver added vaccinating players in the coming months will only happen if "public health officials determine on balance it was the right time." 

SI Recommends

Former Lakers center Kareem Abdul-Jabaar received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine last week. The Hall of Fame big man then recorded a public service announcement with the NBA, stressing the need for the public to get vaccinated.

The COVID-19 crisis continues to wreak havoc on the NBA's schedule through the first month of the 2020–21 season. 15 games have been canceled thus far, with 14 of the cancellations happening in the last nine days.