Although he has often pointed out the significance of maximizing his protection by following the NBA’s fitness and safety protocols associated with the coronavirus pandemic, Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James has declined to mention whether or not he has plans to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
“It’s not a big deal,” James stated on Friday after practice.
But if James has or will receive the vaccine, the Lakers’ star disregards whether his availability for the crew’s postseason run might affect his decision.
“Anything I do off the ground relies on my family for almost all 99.9 per cent of that,” James said. “It’s about the health and safety of my family. That’s what got me down. Being available for my teammates on the ground is about looking after my body and doing the whole thing I can to ensure I’m available mentally, physically, and spiritually. But whatever of that nature is all family talk.”
The NBA and the NBA players union have not required players to take the COVID-19 vaccine. Both parties continue to be conscious that many predominantly Black players experience scepticism stemming from the unethical Tuskegee Syphilis Study. But the league and every team have addressed players about the vaccine’s effectiveness and the additional freedoms they can have after taking it. Once a group becomes 85% vaccinated among players, coaches and staff members, the league loosens up its protocols for that respective team.
Some examples include being capable of going to the exercise facility without wearing masks and consuming meals on the crew plane. Individual vaccinated players are approved to dine outdoors, invite friends and family on the road without testing and aren’t a problem to quarantine after viable exposure.