Watch CBS News

NBA Players Could Assist With COVID-19 Vaccination Advocacy

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — The Kings' schedule has yet to be impacted by coronavirus cases.  Meanwhile, the Wizards will have a fifth straight game postponed Wednesday and account for a third of the 15 games the league has had to shelf so far.

Now NBA players could help expedite the vaccine rollout by setting an example.

On Monday, the NBA rolled out a new commercial with 73-year-old Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar advocating for COVID-19 vaccinations.

"For myself and my family, I'm going to take the COVID-19 vaccine," Abdul-Jabbar said in the commercial.

One day later, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver told Sportico he's looking into having players get vaccinated to help put the public's concerns at ease.

Last month, Silver said the NBA would not jump the line to get its players the vaccine but says the league is focused on discussions for players to help promote it.

More from CBS Sacramento:

But will players even want to get vaccinated?  Kings rookie Tyrese Haliburton says he will.

"I trust public health officials and things like that. I get the flu shot every year, so I don't want to have too big of a problem of getting the covid vaccination," Haliburton said.

Coach Luke Walton also plans to get one.

"I'm not huge on vaccinations but on this one, I'd go get it. I'd have no problems saying that. That's, to me, you can't force people to speak on that. It's gotta be something they believe in," Walton said.

The California Department of Public Health says while they are looking for advocates to help reduce vaccine hesitancy, they're focused on finding messengers who fall in the 65 and older group. Additionally, CDPH said there will be no skipping the line in California.

"Our goal is to provide the COVID vaccine safely, swiftly and equitably, and we welcome all those – include professional athletes and sports leagues – who want to help encourage Californians to get vaccinated. We agree that highlighting high profile members of underserved communities will help reduce vaccine hesitancy, and will be detailing our effort soon. At this time, the effort is focused on finding trusted messengers to those actively being vaccinated, namely individuals 65+," CDPH said in a statement.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.