NBA commissioner: We won't require players to take vaccine

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NBA commissioner: We won't require players to take vaccine

NBA commissioner Adam Silver has revealed that the league won't require players to take a COVID-19 vaccine but he hopes that the majority of players will be willing to take one. The NBA suspended the last season mid-March before it continued in the Orlando bubble and finished in September.

This season kicked off in December and so far the league and the teams have done a solid job of controlling the pandemic. "We're seeing this now, both in the actual numbers of people getting vaccinated in the United States and opinion polls, that people are becoming more willing to get vaccinated," Silver said during his All-Star Weekend virtual news conference from Atlanta, per ESPN.

"I think, as to those who have been hesitators, as tens of millions of people now in the United States have gotten the vaccine, that people are seeing, at least in the short term, what the impact is, and they're hearing about how incredibly effective these vaccines are.

"My hunch is that most players ultimately will choose to get vaccinated. They have to make personal decisions at the end of the day -- and I take that very seriously, and I take concerns very seriously. But my sense is most [players] will, ultimately, decide it is in their interest to get vaccinated."

Taking a vaccine would make life easifer for NBA players

The NBA has done a solid job this season but still it has had to postpone 31 games due to league safety and health protocols. "In addition to the personal health benefits, to the family health benefits, the economic benefits to getting vaccinated, because of the protocols we have in place, they are incredibly burdensome on our players and on our teams," Silver said.

"But, for example, the CDC has already announced that if you've been vaccinated, you don't need to quarantine as a close contact. As you know, many of our players have had to sit out not because they tested positive, but because they were required to quarantine because of a close contact.

"So, in addition, as we operate under the so-called work quarantine protocol, where players are largely only going between their homes and the arena, once they get vaccinated they'll be able to do more in their communities.

And that's something we've already begun talking to the players' association about. So there will be some real advantages and benefits to getting vaccinated for the players."