Athletes are in the back of the line.
United States-based sports leagues have taken the extraordinary step of letting people know that the leagues will not cut in line and get the COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna and any other company that will make the vaccines. Earlier this month, The National Football League’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Allen Sills said the league would not push federal officials on getting a vaccine for NFL players and staff that would be involved in the NFL January-February playoff season. “We’ve said all along that we never want to do anything that hinders the public health effort. I think it is our understanding that healthcare workers and frontline workers are going to be first in line for those vaccines. It’s important to us that that happens and we are not seen as cutting in line, as it were.” Dr. Sills is not the only sports league official talking.
National Basketball Association Commissioner Adam Silver said his league would not jump the line either. “There’s no way we’d ever jump the line in any form whatsoever,” Silver said. “And, for the most part, because our players are so young and healthy without some sort of comorbidity, they will not be a high priority for vaccinations. There are some other members of the NBA community working on court who are older and will have a higher priority to get the vaccine. Meanwhile a report in mid-December that the National Hockey League wants to purchase COVID-19 for league personnel use. The league did not knock down the report but also does not anticipate an ability to secure a private stock of the COVID-19 vaccines that are available or soon to be available. Professional athletes should be in the back of the line for the shots, sports is not an essential business. It is entertainment. Athletes entertain. They don’t save lives.