Many NBA players are hesitant to participate in league-organized public service announcements endorsing the coronavirus vaccine, sources told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.
The league is looking to promote the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine, but some of its biggest stars provided mixed responses when asked about their potential involvement in a series of PSAs.
For many players, hesitancy to participate and actually receive the vaccine is tied to similar apprehensions historically held by Black communities in the United States, according to Wojnarowski.
A recent poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation and The Undefeated found that only six of 10 Black adults trust doctors, and seven of 10 of African Americans believe the healthcare system treats Black people unfairly "very often" or "somewhat often."
Several players are also reluctant to act on behalf of the league as plans are finalized to hold a widely criticized All-Star Game in Atlanta on March 7.
Commissioner Adam Silver reiterated Tuesday during a call with the league's general managers that players and staff won't jump the line to receive the vaccine. Silver said players could begin receiving the vaccine in late March and early April.
Infectious disease expert Dr. Fauci told CNN that the vaccine rollout for the general public will more realistically take place in "mid-to-late May and early June."
Silver also reportedly told the league's general managers that players receiving the vaccine could benefit teams with a potential loosening of strict health and safety protocols.
The NBA has already released pro-vaccine PSAs starring Hall of Famer Bill Russell and San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich. The league reportedly hopes the involvement of the NBA's best players - many of whom are Black - will help promote the vaccine in minority communities disproportionally affected by the spread of COVID-19.
The league has also been educating its players and staff on the effectiveness of the coronavirus vaccine, including compulsory seminars with NBA vice president and medical director Dr. LeRoy Sims.
Thirty games have been postponed due to the league's health and safety protocols, and players such as Minnesota Timberwolves big man Karl-Anthony Towns and Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum recently said they're experiencing issues with their respective recoveries from the coronavirus.