The NBA has not been immune to the effects of COVID-19. Not only did the pandemic literally shut down league play for months (causing a massive financial loss), but many of its players have either caught the virus themselves or have seen their friends and family have to endure the long battle with it.
Still, an ongoing war rages on, this time about the vaccine, which is supposed to help guard and protect players from the worst of the deadly virus.
In a very popular piece by Rolling Stone, an inside look at the COVID-19 vaccine resistance is uncovered, revealing that a number of prominent players are not just hesitant to the vaccine, but are actively campaigning against it.
A spokeswoman for Irving declined to respond to a list of questions regarding his vaccination and playing status, and Irving did not immediately respond to a message from Rolling Stone. But as teams return to pre-season training camps next week, fifty to sixty NBA players have yet to receive a single vaccine dose, league sources tell RS. Most are considered merely reluctant skeptics. Some of the holdouts, however, amount to their own shadow roster of anti-vaxxers mounting a behind-the-scenes resistance to Covid protocols — and the truth.
The response has been pretty loud so far, with many fans and media personnel sharing their views on the subject.
Kareem-Abdul Jabbar went on a bit of a rant about it, speaking out against the anti-vax movement within the NBA.
“The NBA should insist that all players and staff are vaccinated or remove them from the team,” NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar told Rolling Stone. “There is no room for players who are willing to risk the health and lives of their teammates, the staff and the fans simply because they are unable to grasp the seriousness of the situation or do the necessary research. What I find especially disingenuous about the vaccine deniers is their arrogance at disbelieving immunology and other medical experts. Yet, if their child was sick or they themselves needed emergency medical treatment, how quickly would they do exactly what those same experts told them to do?”
Kareem isn't alone in his thinking. The fact is, many of the people in the anti-vax crowd are either ignorant of the process or don't trust those who created it to begin with.
Whatever the case, it's looking increasingly likely that this war over the COVID-19 vaccine will rage on into the new season, which could cause more than a few problems for the NBA.