According to a report from NHL insider John Shannon, the NHL is planning a bulk purchase of the COVID-19 vaccine for its players and staff in preparation for the upcoming 2021 season.
Check it out:
As you might imagine, this is NOT going over well online.
Hockey fans are accusing the NHL of essentially cutting in line with money and securing the vaccine for its own selfish reasons.
Check out some of these reactions from Twitter:
Frankly, I'm not sure how I feel about this development.
On the one hand, if the NHL is going to operate in 2021 they should be doing everything possible to ensure that their players and staff are as safe and protected as possible. On the other hand, what kind of message does it send when the NHL pays thousands or even millions of dollars to essentially cut in line?
If this affects the roll-out of the vaccine to our society's most vulnerable people then I am 100% against it. There are thousands of people dying of COVID-19 everyday and the NHL can just pony up the dough to cut ahead of these people on the priority list? That's just flat out wrong.
Now, here's the thing... I don't know the first thing about the availability of the vaccine and whether or not the NHL's plans will have any measurable effect on other people's access to it. Then there's also the fact that if the NHL decides NOT to purchase the vaccine in deference to people more in need well... someone else will swoop in and buy it. It's not like the NHL will be the only sports league trying to make a bulk purchase of the vaccine. Again, it comes back to what sort of impact this has on the overall stock and the planned rollout.
Suffice it to say that there's much to consider on this topic. And that's saying nothing on whether or not the NHL will make the vaccine mandatory. Is that even legal? If they can't mandate it, what do they do with players who refuse to take the vaccine? Will they be outed publicly? Will they be essentially kicked off their teams for being cautious? Again... much to consider.