NBA commissioner Adam Silver held a conference call with media members on Saturday afternoon, one day ahead of tomorrow’s All-Star Game.
Among his many comments, most notably, Silver said that no NBA player, to his knowledge, has yet been vaccinated, according to Marc Stein of the New York Times, who followed up saying that the league had no current plans to mandate vaccines.
This comes just a month after Kareem Abdul-Jabbar penned a New York Times op-ed calling for players to skip the lines and set an example for apprehensive citizens, particularly those in the Black community. Just over two weeks after Abdul-Jabbar’s plea, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that some players had been hesitant about taking the vaccine.
“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.
“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.”
Regarding other league matters, Sports Illustrated’s Howard Beck reported that Silver had expressed hopes for the NBA to return to as close to normal as possible this coming fall.
And Silver also discussed the league’s lack of Black head coaches, simply saying the standard, “There’s more work to be done.”
Other Silver comments included nixing discussion of changes to the NBA logo (based on Kyrie Irving’s suggested tribute to Kobe Bryant) …
“There are no ongoing discussions. The logo is iconic. ... It doesn’t feel to me that this is the appropriate moment.”
... and loss of revenue during the pandemic: