Could NBA use COVID-19 vaccinations of players for PSA?
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver says the league is discussing COVID-19 vaccination of players as a Public Service Announcement. Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Could NBA use COVID-19 vaccinations of players for PSA?

Earlier this month, MLB legend Hank Aaron publicly received a COVID-19 vaccine to promote the shot's safety to Black Americans who may feel uneasy about the process. 

ESPN's Brian Windhorst is now reporting the NBA could eventually use future vaccinations of players to educate the public. 

"There have been discussions. It's something we're particularly focused on," NBA commissioner Adam Silver said during a Tuesday 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."

A December survey conducted by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that 40% of Black Americans claimed they would not receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Windhorst added that National Basketball Players Association executive director Michele Roberts and "many" NBA players are hesitant about getting the vaccine.

"I've heard they want Black influencers to step up, convince the Black community to do this," Roberts recently told Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports. "I’m just waiting on the tap on the shoulder to say, ‘Michele, will the players do this?’ I know it’s coming."

The Washington Wizards are currently dealing with a coronavirus outbreak that has caused the postponement of five consecutive games. In total, the NBA has called off 15 contests due to COVID-19 issues since the season started on Dec. 22. 

"Several public health officials -- and this is operating state by state right now -- have suggested there would be a real public health benefit to getting some very high-profile African Americans vaccinated to demonstrate to the larger community that it is safe and effective," Silver explained on Tuesday. 

"At the appropriate time, whenever that is and whether that's directed federally by NIH or CDC or ultimately state-by-state programs, we think there's real value in our players demonstrating to a broader community how important it is to get vaccinated."

Zac Wassink is a football and futbol aficionado who is a PFWA member and is probably yelling about Tottenham Hotspur at the moment. Erik Lamela and Eli Manning apologist. Chanted for Matt Harvey to start the ninth inning of Game 5 of the 2015 World Series at Citi Field. Whoops. You can find him on Twitter at @ZacWassink

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