Former President Barack Obama continues to be supportive of the NBA and its advocacies outside basketball were joined by Hall-of-Famers Shaquille O’Neal and Charles Barkley in an NBC TV special called Roll Up Your Sleeves on Sunday.
The three of them took to a zoom type of town hall discussion to talk about the importance of everyone getting vaccinated.
“I appreciate you guys doing this. Part of our goal here is to make sure that everybody who’s been going through so much in COVID understands the need and the urgency of our communities getting vaccinated,” Obama said.
“Now, as the vaccine becomes more available, I want to make sure that our communities, particularly ones — African American, Latino — as well as young people understand that this will save lives and allow people to get their lives back to normal,” Obama added. “The sooner we get more people vaccinated the better off we’re going to be.”
Barkley said he’s on the verge of getting his second vaccine shot, and O’Neal said he’s been vaccinated, along with family members with underlying conditions.
“But I’m not worried about me or my family. I’m worried about the average mom and dad,” O’Neal said.
Obama said underlying health conditions are particularly prevalent in minority communities, making them especially susceptible to the coronavirus, and said new COVID-19 variants are impacting young people in greater ways than seen previously.
The NBA stands with Obama in asking all Americans to get vaccinated. While the league has not made the vaccine a mandatory requirement to its players, Commissioner Adam Silver has already given incentives to those who got the shot.