Charles Barkley argues why professional athletes should be able to cut the line and take the vaccine

Brad Sullivan
2 Min Read

During TNT’s Thursday night broadcast, NBA Hall of Famer Charles Barkley offered the controversial idea that NBA players and other professional athletes should be given preferential treatment when it comes to receiving the coronavirus vaccine.

“We need 300 million shots,” Barkley said. “I’d give 1,000 to some NBA players.”

After fellow commentator Kenny Smith asked about NFL players, Barkley continued his comments.

“NFL, I’m just getting ready to say, NFL players, hockey players,” Barkley said. “Listen, as much taxes as these players pay, let me repeat that, as much taxes as these players pay, they deserve some preferential treatment.”

Smith then strongly dismissed the idea that the amount of money being made by a person should determine his or her status for the badly needed vaccine.

Barkley’s comments come in the wake of the NBA’s struggles to contain the spread of the virus, which has led to the postponement of a number of games.

Despite the recent outbreaks, NBA players and other athletes are not considered to be among the most vulnerable members of the population to contract the potentially deadly virus.

It’s likely that Barkley’s comments will quickly be forgotten, considering that any effort by the NBA to adopt that strategy would presumably result in a horrendous public relations disaster for the league.

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Brad has written on a variety of both NBA and NFL topics and has worked previously as a sports information director at the collegiate level. A lifetime fan of sports, he's witnessed countless great moments in different sports and understands that stories can be compelling from both the perspective of winners and losers. As a frustrated fan of Cleveland sports, he experienced something unprecedented when the Cavaliers won the city's first championship in 52 years.