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The National Basketball Association (NBA) will not require their players to get vaccinated amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and surge of the DELTA variant. However, LeBron James revealed that he had been vaccinated, and since he is the face of basketball, his vaccination could be the turning point of the hesitant few who still question the point of getting the shot, according to ESPN on Sept. 14, 2021.
According to the NBA, roughly 85 percent of the league’s players have been vaccinated. A week ago, NBA players Bradley Beal of the Washington Wizards and Andrew Wiggins of the Golden State Warriors were adamant about not being vaccinated. However, Wiggins recently changed his vaccine status due to the mandatory rule for the Brooklyn Nets, New York Knicks, and Golden State Warriors team members.
This is not a new trend, as California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that he would require students in public schools to be vaccinated, sparking controversy and talk amongst media on his decision. Big cities and states, such as New York, have begun adjusting their COVID-19 restrictions and laying off hundreds of health workers who refuse to be vaccinated.
While it is ideal to have a unanimous agreement on vaccinations, there will always be pushback when human beings are given the right to choose.
Only 65 percent of eligible adults in the United States have had at least one dose, and 56 percent of 184.8 million have received both doses.
With the NBA giving their players the right to choose if they want to be vaccinated, this could cause more misinformation and confusion surrounding vaccinations as more youth watch basketball than the news. In addition, basketball players have a strong pull in social media and influence over youths in terms of how they think and what holds their attention.
Players interact with other players and could risk spreading COVID-19 to one another. It is now up to sports media to help turn the tide to encourage fans to support the idea of a safe and sound nation by being vaccinated.
Written by Mikal Eggleston
Edited by Cathy Milne-Ware
New York Daily News: No jab, no job: New York City and State must keep advancing tough COVID vaccine mandates; by Daily News Editorial Board
ESPN: NBA players won’t be required to get COVID-19 vaccination; by Baxter Holmes and Adrian Wojnarowski
US NEWS: California Governor Gavin Newsom Imposes Country’s First K-12 Vaccine Mandate; by Lauren Camera
Featured and Top Image Courtesy of Baptiste Michaud’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inline Image Courtesy of Thote Bober’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License