The COVID-19 vaccine is here. While it is not arguable that frontline workers, those over 65, and those with at-risk health-conditions should receive preferential treatment to the vaccine, NBA Hall of Famer Charles Barkley believes professional athletes should also be added to the list. His reasoning is the amount of taxes the athletes pay.
“Three hundred million shots, give a thousand to some NBA players, NFL players, hockey players,” Barkley, who is now an analyst, said Thursday on TNT’s Inside the NBA. “As much taxes as these players pay. Let me repeat that: As much taxes as these players pay, they deserve some preferential treatment.”
Barkley is essentially saying that income levels should be of criteria when determining who is more deserving of the vaccine. Co-Analyst, Kenny Smith argued his take.
According to The Hill, Smith followed up and asked, “for life and death?” Barkley answered, “yes.”
When host Ernie Johnson shared his take, saying that those most at risk and the elderly should be treated first. Barkley did agree. He continued to advocate for athletes to be added to the list, along with first-responders.
“A thousand shots to NBA players is not going to change the world,” Barkley said.
This conversation comes after NBA and NFL leaders announced no plans to “jump the line to get people vaccinated.”
“There’s no way we’d ever jump the line in any form whatsoever,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said on ESPN. “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.”
NFL chief medical officer Allen Sills said the organizations would not want to “do anything that hinders the public health effort.”
As for the qualification guidelines for the vaccine, they vary from state to state, and according to Yahoo Sports, “it follows an understandable pattern that doesn’t include how much taxes one pays.”
… Is Charles Barkley drunk? pic.twitter.com/RC2cKik5q6
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) January 15, 2021