NBA Players Told to Avoid High-Fives With Fans Due to Coronavirus

Players advised to curb autograph signings, interactions

Image Credits: MARK RALSTON/AFP via Getty Images.

The National Basketball Association has issued a list of precautions players should take in order to minimize the risk of spreading coronavirus, including avoiding high-fives with fans.

Players should offer fist-bumps to fans instead of high-fives, and should not accept items for autographs, such as pens, jerseys, and balls, according to a league memo obtained by the Associated Press.

“The coronavirus remains a situation with the potential to change rapidly — the NBA and the Players Association will continue to work with leading experts and team physicians to provide up-to-date information and recommended practices that should be followed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus,” league officials wrote in the memo.

“We are also in regular communication with each other, NBA teams including team physicians and athletic trainers, other professional sports leagues, and of course, many of you.”

Players are advised to take common sense precautions to reduce the risk of becoming ill, and also ensure they are “up to date with all routine vaccinations, including the flu vaccine.”

CJ McCollum, who plays for the Portland Trail Blazers, announced he is “officially taking a break from signing autographs until further notice.”

Continued spread of coronavirus in the United States could have far-reaching effects on league operations and related events.

“Among larger concerns being addressed in NBA front offices is the possibility that pre-draft combines, on-site workouts and international scouting events could become more limited in scope, or even be canceled, based on the possible escalation of the coronavirus outbreak,” ESPN reports.

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