NBA players, a poorly educated group of mostly 20-somethings, plan to wear “social justice” messages on their jerseys when play resumes at the end of the month. Inasmuch as they wish to instruct us on public policy, it might be fair to ask how well these guys have done in protecting themselves and, by extension those close to them, from the coronavirus.
The answer is they haven’t done well. According to this report, 16 of 302 players (slightly more than 5 percent) tested positive in the NBA’s first round of testing.
I can’t tell exactly what the rate of positives was for major league baseball players when they were tested upon reporting to camp. However, it seems to have been significantly lower than the rate among NBA players.
It can be argued that, given their age and general good health, NBA players shouldn’t worry about contracting the virus. However, that’s not the politically correct position, nor is it mine.
I think it speaks poorly of NBA players as a group that more than 5 percent of them have contracted the virus. An individual can take precautions and still become infected, and some groups may be unable to take some precautions. But if a group of wealthy individuals has a high infection rate, it’s because, as a group, its members aren’t being cautious.
MLB players tend to be more down to earth than their NBA counterparts, having been less pampered in school and not pampered at all in the minor leagues. Thus, it wouldn’t be surprising if they have behaved more responsibly as a group during the pandemic.
Even so, I wouldn’t want to see “social justice” messages on MLB uniforms, either. Fortunately, I don’t think any will be on display when baseball resumes this week.