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    With Win in Paris, Novak Djokovic Secures Year-End No. 1 Ranking Again

    He bolstered his claim to being the best men’s player of this era by securing the year-end No. 1 ranking for a record seventh year.PARIS — When Novak Djokovic was 7, the world of elite tennis was a distant place, visible only on the television screen of his parents’ pizzeria in the Serbian mountains or the modest family apartment in Belgrade.His two young children have a much better view.On Sunday, as he hustled and pondered his way through his rematch with Daniil Medvedev, Djokovic’s son, Stefan, 7, and daughter, Tara, 4, were in the front row along with friends, family and stuffed animals.When Djokovic finally prevailed, 4-6, 6-3, 6-3, to win the Paris Masters for the sixth time, he met Medvedev at the net and then walked, beaming, toward his children to embrace them in the stands.“A special day for me,” Djokovic said. “It’s the first time both my kids are together to watch a match of mine.”It is one of the perks of enduring sporting excellence and one of the inspirations: to give your offspring a memory of you in full flow.“It’s one of the biggest reasons why I keep on playing,” Djokovic said. “I always dreamed of having my children in the stands.”His longtime rival Roger Federer, a father of four, has reveled in the experience. So have many leading athletes, from football’s Tom Brady to women’s soccer’s Christie Pearce, in an era when more superstars have found a way to stay longer at the top.At 34, Djokovic is riding the same wave and not yet ready to get off. He proved it in Paris, where he rebounded from a demoralizing stretch that could have left him reeling.Djokovic kissed his son, Stefan, after defeating Medvedev.Thibault Camus/APAfter failing again to win a medal at the Summer Olympics in Tokyo in August, Djokovic got within one match of achieving a Grand Slam only to lose the U.S. Open final in straight sets to Medvedev. Rod Laver remains the last man to win all four major singles titles in the same year. He completed the Grand Slam in 1962 and 1969, and judging by the steady improvement of Medvedev and the new generation of men’s stars, it is difficult to imagine that Djokovic will have another chance to join Laver’s club.But after seven weeks away from the tour, Djokovic reminded fans of his resilience, talent and resourcefulness with his performance in Paris.He bolstered his claim to being the best men’s player of this golden era by securing the year-end No. 1 ranking for a record seventh year, breaking his tie with Pete Sampras. He also broke another tie with Rafael Nadal by winning his 37th Masters 1000 title and became the first man since Andre Agassi in 1999 to win the French Open and Paris Masters in the same season.Medvedev, the gangly Russian shock absorber, had looked unstoppable as he rolled over a weary Alexander Zverev in Saturday’s semifinals, barely making an unforced error. Meanwhile, Djokovic had only squeaked past an inspired Hubert Hurkacz in a third-set tiebreaker in their semifinal, struggling for consistency off the ground and in his own service games..css-1xzcza9{list-style-type:disc;padding-inline-start:1em;}.css-3btd0c{font-family:nyt-franklin,helvetica,arial,sans-serif;font-size:1rem;line-height:1.375rem;color:#333;margin-bottom:0.78125rem;}@media (min-width:740px){.css-3btd0c{font-size:1.0625rem;line-height:1.5rem;margin-bottom:0.9375rem;}}.css-3btd0c strong{font-weight:600;}.css-3btd0c em{font-style:italic;}.css-1kpebx{margin:0 auto;font-family:nyt-franklin,helvetica,arial,sans-serif;font-weight:700;font-size:1.125rem;line-height:1.3125rem;color:#121212;}#NYT_BELOW_MAIN_CONTENT_REGION .css-1kpebx{font-family:nyt-cheltenham,georgia,’times new roman’,times,serif;font-weight:700;font-size:1.375rem;line-height:1.625rem;}@media (min-width:740px){#NYT_BELOW_MAIN_CONTENT_REGION .css-1kpebx{font-size:1.6875rem;line-height:1.875rem;}}@media (min-width:740px){.css-1kpebx{font-size:1.25rem;line-height:1.4375rem;}}.css-1gtxqqv{margin-bottom:0;}.css-16ed7iq{width:100%;display:-webkit-box;display:-webkit-flex;display:-ms-flexbox;display:flex;-webkit-align-items:center;-webkit-box-align:center;-ms-flex-align:center;align-items:center;-webkit-box-pack:center;-webkit-justify-content:center;-ms-flex-pack:center;justify-content:center;padding:10px 0;background-color:white;}.css-pmm6ed{display:-webkit-box;display:-webkit-flex;display:-ms-flexbox;display:flex;-webkit-align-items:center;-webkit-box-align:center;-ms-flex-align:center;align-items:center;}.css-pmm6ed > :not(:first-child){margin-left:5px;}.css-5gimkt{font-family:nyt-franklin,helvetica,arial,sans-serif;font-size:0.8125rem;font-weight:700;-webkit-letter-spacing:0.03em;-moz-letter-spacing:0.03em;-ms-letter-spacing:0.03em;letter-spacing:0.03em;text-transform:uppercase;color:#333;}.css-5gimkt:after{content:’Collapse’;}.css-rdoyk0{-webkit-transition:all 0.5s ease;transition:all 0.5s ease;-webkit-transform:rotate(180deg);-ms-transform:rotate(180deg);transform:rotate(180deg);}.css-eb027h{max-height:5000px;-webkit-transition:max-height 0.5s ease;transition:max-height 0.5s ease;}.css-6mllg9{-webkit-transition:all 0.5s ease;transition:all 0.5s ease;position:relative;opacity:0;}.css-6mllg9:before{content:”;background-image:linear-gradient(180deg,transparent,#ffffff);background-image:-webkit-linear-gradient(270deg,rgba(255,255,255,0),#ffffff);height:80px;width:100%;position:absolute;bottom:0px;pointer-events:none;}.css-1g3vlj0{font-family:nyt-franklin,helvetica,arial,sans-serif;font-size:1rem;line-height:1.375rem;color:#333;margin-bottom:0.78125rem;}@media (min-width:740px){.css-1g3vlj0{font-size:1.0625rem;line-height:1.5rem;margin-bottom:0.9375rem;}}.css-1g3vlj0 strong{font-weight:600;}.css-1g3vlj0 em{font-style:italic;}.css-1g3vlj0{margin-bottom:0;margin-top:0.25rem;}.css-19zsuqr{display:block;margin-bottom:0.9375rem;}.css-12vbvwq{background-color:white;border:1px solid #e2e2e2;width:calc(100% – 40px);max-width:600px;margin:1.5rem auto 1.9rem;padding:15px;box-sizing:border-box;}@media (min-width:740px){.css-12vbvwq{padding:20px;width:100%;}}.css-12vbvwq:focus{outline:1px solid #e2e2e2;}#NYT_BELOW_MAIN_CONTENT_REGION .css-12vbvwq{border:none;padding:10px 0 0;border-top:2px solid #121212;}.css-12vbvwq[data-truncated] .css-rdoyk0{-webkit-transform:rotate(0deg);-ms-transform:rotate(0deg);transform:rotate(0deg);}.css-12vbvwq[data-truncated] .css-eb027h{max-height:300px;overflow:hidden;-webkit-transition:none;transition:none;}.css-12vbvwq[data-truncated] .css-5gimkt:after{content:’See more’;}.css-12vbvwq[data-truncated] .css-6mllg9{opacity:1;}.css-qjk116{margin:0 auto;overflow:hidden;}.css-qjk116 strong{font-weight:700;}.css-qjk116 em{font-style:italic;}.css-qjk116 a{color:#326891;-webkit-text-decoration:underline;text-decoration:underline;text-underline-offset:1px;-webkit-text-decoration-thickness:1px;text-decoration-thickness:1px;-webkit-text-decoration-color:#326891;text-decoration-color:#326891;}.css-qjk116 a:visited{color:#326891;-webkit-text-decoration-color:#326891;text-decoration-color:#326891;}.css-qjk116 a:hover{-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;}But Djokovic found a new level and a new tactic against Medvedev, borrowing a yellowing page from tennis’s traditional playbook by serving and volleying 22 times and winning 19 of the points when he did.It was an astute attempt to take advantage of Medvedev’s extremely deep return position, but it still required Djokovic to make a series of brilliantly angled volleys and drop volleys to keep the ball out of Medvedev’s long reach. More impressive was that the tactic continued to work throughout the match even after Medvedev had a chance to adjust.“It won Novak the match for sure,” said Mark Petchey, the veteran coach and analyst. “It’s been a changeup strategy for Novak in the past, a surprise tactic, but Daniil knew it was coming and still couldn’t stop him.”It helps that Medvedev slaps relatively flat returns and passing shots compared with a player like Nadal, whose dipping topspin can make it harder to hit decisive volleys. New paradigm? Probably not, but it was certainly effective indoors on Sunday despite the relatively heavy balls that, in theory, should have made winners more difficult to produce.“He puts a lot of returns back in play, and he’s just so good at staying in the point and making you suffer and forcing you to do an unforced error,” Djokovic said. “So you have to have in a way controlled aggression against him.”He added, “I wanted to keep him on his toes, so he doesn’t know what’s coming up next, to be a little bit unpredictable.”It is surely easier to surprise Medvedev at this early stage of their rivalry than men whom Djokovic has faced for more than a decade, like Nadal and Federer. But though Djokovic and Nadal had a memorable duel this year in Paris, with Djokovic prevailing in a four-set semifinal, Djokovic versus Medvedev has been the most compelling rivalry of the year.Djokovic beat him in straight sets in the Australian Open final, lost in straight sets in New York and then won their best match yet in Paris. It would be no surprise if they met once more this year at the ATP Finals in Turin, Italy, which will begin on Sunday on another indoor hardcourt.Medvedev has become Djokovic’s most compelling rival over the past year.Christophe Petit Tesson/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock They have become increasingly comfortable with each other and even trained together recently near their Monte Carlo residences: a rare occasion for a No. 1 and No. 2 player. Their meeting at the net after Sunday’s final was full of warmth despite Medvedev’s disappointment, and Djokovic has perhaps never applauded an opponent’s winners as often as he did for Medvedev’s in Paris. That was in part because the level was so high, particularly when they were locked in baseline exchanges that both were able to extend far beyond the norm with their extraordinary defensive skills.“He’s probably my biggest rival in tennis at the moment,” Djokovic said.The question is whether either of them will make the long trip to Melbourne for the Australian Open, where the state government of Victoria has indicated that players will be required to be fully vaccinated for Covid-19. According to the ATP Tour, 25 percent of the top 100 singles players remain unvaccinated. Djokovic, who contracted the coronavirus in 2020, and Medvedev, who tested positive for coronavirus in April, have declined to disclose whether they are vaccinated. Both said in Paris that they would decide whether to play the Australian Open after the tournament made its formal policy clear.“I don’t want to be part of the stories about the assumptions and what ifs,” Djokovic said. “When the official conditions and requirements to travel to Australia and play in Australia are out, then obviously I will see what I personally do with that, and also the bigger group of the players. Because the situation is obviously different in Australia than most parts of the world.”The announcement is imminent, according to Tennis Australia, which will officially launch the tournament next week with tickets going on sale on Nov. 19.Skipping the trip would be no small sacrifice for Djokovic, who is in pursuit of a 21st Grand Slam singles title to break his three-way tie with Federer and Nadal. Djokovic, a nine-time Australian Open champion, has won nearly half of his majors on the hardcourts in Melbourne. Though he remains No. 1 after another brilliant and resilient season, he can sense the pressure from below from Medvedev, 25, and his peer group, who have no children in tow just yet.“He’s the leader of the next generation,” Djokovic said. “They are already there, and they are challenging the three of us old guys, and we’re going to try to hang in there.” More

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    Kyrie Irving Defends Decision on Vaccine After Being Benched

    Kyrie Irving, the N.B.A. star who has been indefinitely barred from practicing or playing with the Brooklyn Nets because of his refusal to get the Covid-19 vaccine, spoke out publicly on Wednesday night for the first time since the team decided to keep him off the court, saying his refusal was a matter of personal freedom.“You think I really want to lose money?” Irving, who is set to earn about $40 million in salary this season, said on his Instagram feed in a meandering monologue that included incorrect medical information. More than 90 percent of players in the league are vaccinated, a proportion much higher than in the general population of the United States.“You think I really want to give up on my dream to go after a championship?” Irving, 29, said. “You think I really just want to give up my job? You think I really want to sit at home?”On Tuesday, the Nets said they had barred Irving from playing until he becomes “eligible to be a full participant.” New York City requires most teenagers and adults to have at least one vaccination shot to enter facilities such as sports arenas, and Irving has not practiced with the Nets in Brooklyn. Irving joined the Nets in 2019 as they built a team of superstars that includes Kevin Durant and James Harden.Irving asked that his decision to remain unvaccinated be respected and said that he has no plans to retire. He couched his refusal to get vaccinated in his opposition to mandates, saying nobody should be “forced” to do it.Irving falsely claimed his decision to remain unvaccinated does not harm other people. The highly contagious Delta variant has quickly spread in areas with low vaccination rates. And hospitals in those areas have been overrun with unvaccinated patients, leaving few beds and staff members to treat other patients. More

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    Nets Bar Kyrie Irving Until He's Vaccinated

    The barring of Irving complicates what looked like a surefire path to the finals for the Nets and could set up a battle with the players’ union.Kyrie Irving was supposed to be the starting point guard of the N.B.A.’s next dynasty. He was going to use his superb ball-handling skills to dish passes to Kevin Durant and James Harden, and together this Big Three would turn the Nets into champions season after season for years to come.Sure, Irving had suggested that the Earth was flat. But he had also delivered a championship to Cleveland alongside LeBron James, and he was a perennial All-Star. The Nets could stand a little quirkiness in pursuit of greatness.The Covid-19 vaccine, and Irving’s refusal to take it, could turn all of that upside down.As vaccine mandates roil workplaces across the country, a high-stakes stalemate in the N.B.A. took a dramatic turn on Tuesday when the Nets issued Irving an ultimatum: Get the shot, or stay home. In the process, the team has drawn a stark line over the issue of the vaccine with one of the more high-profile sports celebrities who has refused to get it.“Without a doubt, losing a player of Kyrie’s caliber hurts,” Sean Marks, the Nets’ general manager, said at a news conference. “I’m not going to deny that. But at the end of the day, our focus, our coaches’ focus and our organization’s focus needs to be on those players that are going to be involved here and participating fully.”Irving, 29, had faced the prospect of being able to play only on the road with the Nets this season because of local coronavirus ordinances in New York that require most individuals to be at least partially vaccinated to enter facilities such as sports arenas. The Nets play their home games at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.Marks said the decision to bar Irving from all games and practices had been made by himself and by Joe Tsai, the Nets’ owner.“Will there be pushback from Kyrie and his camp? I’m sure that this is not a decision that they like,” Marks said. “Kyrie loves to play basketball, wants to be out there, wants to be participating with his teammates. But again, this is a choice that Kyrie had, and he was aware of that.”The Nets’ decision to sit Irving for the road games that he is eligible to play in sets the stage for a potential battle between the team and the players’ union, which had already been pushing back on the league’s plan to dock the pay of unvaccinated players for games they miss because of ordinances in their home cities.Irving, a union vice president, is due to lose about $380,000, or around 1 percent of his base pay for the 2021-22 season, for every home game he misses. Marks said Irving would still be paid for road games this season. The N.B.A. players’ union did not respond to a request for comment.Irving has not spoken publicly about his vaccination status, asking instead for privacy, and the Nets danced around the topic for weeks until Tuesday. In response to a question from The New York Times about whether Irving was vaccinated, Marks said: “If he was vaccinated, we wouldn’t be having this discussion. I think that’s probably pretty clear.”Although the union said last week that 96 percent of players had been vaccinated, a few have expressed hesitancy and most have not actively campaigned for others to be vaccinated. In late September, James, the game’s most famous player, said that he had gotten vaccinated after months of skepticism.“I think everyone has their own choice to do what they feel is right for themselves and their family,” James said.In his most recent public comments, Irving insisted that getting the shot was a matter of privacy.“Everything will be released at a due date and once we get this cleared up,” Irving said during a virtual meeting with reporters on Sept. 27, adding: “I’m a human being first. Obviously, living in this public sphere, it’s just a lot of questions about what’s going on in the world of Kyrie. I think I just would love to just keep that private, handle it the right way with my team and go forward together with the plan.”Irving has long been known as one of the league’s more mercurial figures, expressing unconventional opinions on a variety of topics since he joined the Cleveland Cavaliers as the top overall draft pick in 2011.But he also has outsize influence within the league, and he led a bloc of players who disagreed with the N.B.A.’s decision to resume the 2019-20 season in a Florida bubble because of the pandemic, expressing concern that the move would limit the players’ social justice efforts after the police killing of George Floyd.Last season, Irving missed several games for unspecified personal reasons. During one of the stints when he was away from the team, video surfaced of him attending his sister’s birthday party without a mask, in violation of the league’s health and safety protocols. A few days later, while his teammates were preparing to play against the Denver Nuggets, he appeared on a Zoom call for supporters of the Manhattan district attorney candidate Tahanie Aboushi.Still, Irving’s talents seemed to overshadow any distraction. Despite having little time to develop on-court chemistry because of injuries and other absences last season, the Nets appeared primed for a deep playoff run. But injuries to Irving and Harden hindered the Nets’ postseason hopes, and they lost to the eventual champion Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference semifinals.The Nets are still contenders this season — with or without Irving — though his presence would clearly help.But Barclays Center and Madison Square Garden, where the Knicks play, require all employees and guests 12 and older to show proof of having received at least one vaccine dose, to comply with a city mandate, unless they have a religious or medical exemption. San Francisco has a similar requirement that applies to Chase Center, where the Golden State Warriors play. The mandates in both cities mean that the players from the Knicks, Nets and Golden State cannot play in their teams’ 41 home games during the regular season without being vaccinated.The ordinances in New York and San Francisco do not apply to players from visiting teams. Jonathan Isaac of the Orlando Magic and Bradley Beal of the Washington Wizards, for example, have been vocal about their refusals to be vaccinated.Either way, unvaccinated players face a host of rules and restrictions this season. With limited exceptions, they are required to remain at home or at the team hotel when they are not at games or practices. They also are not permitted to eat with vaccinated teammates, who have far more freedom to dine out and interact with the public.Golden State’s Andrew Wiggins was unvaccinated when he arrived for training camp but relented when he was faced with the local ordinances that would have barred him from games and cost him a great deal of money.“The only options were to get vaccinated or not play in the N.B.A.” Wiggins said after Golden State’s preseason opener this month. “It was a tough decision. Hopefully, it works out in the long run and in 10 years I’m still healthy.”For now, Irving has remained steadfast. In the past, he stated that he wants his legacy to be about service rather than his work as a basketball player. He has gone to great efforts in that regard, although many of his inroads are outside any media spotlight.Irving purchased a home for Floyd’s family, according to the former N.B.A. player Stephen Jackson. During the W.N.B.A.’s bubble season, Irving started an initiative to provide $1.5 million to players who did not participate and would not be paid. His K.A.I. Family Foundation also teamed with City Harvest to donate 250,000 meals in New York.On Tuesday, Marks said he would be willing to welcome Irving’s return to the team “under a different set of circumstances.” More

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    LeBron James Says He Had Been Vaccinated Against Covid

    LeBron James, the Los Angeles Lakers star, said Tuesday that he had been vaccinated against the coronavirus, after evading questions about his vaccination status last season. Several other high-profile N.B.A. players have resisted getting vaccinated ahead of the start of the N.B.A. season next month.“I think everyone has their own choice to do what they feel is right for themselves and their family,” James said. “I know that I was very skeptical about it all, but after doing my research and things of that nature, I felt like it was best suited for not only me but for my family and my friends, and that’s why I decided to do it.”James did not say which vaccine he had taken, or the number of doses he had received. He also said he would not use his platform to publicly encourage others to be vaccinated.“We’re talking about individuals’ bodies,” he said. “We’re not talking about something that’s political or racism or police brutality and things of that nature.”He added: “So I don’t feel like for me personally that I should get involved in what other people should do for their bodies and their livelihoods.”Rob Pelinka, the general manager of the Lakers, said last week that he expects the team’s entire roster to be fully vaccinated ahead of its season opener against the Golden State Warriors on Oct. 19. Kent Bazemore, one of the team’s new players, said he was reluctant to be vaccinated before Pelinka persuaded him to receive his first dose. More

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    NBA Vaccine Skeptics Speak Out

    More than 90 percent of players have received at least one dose of the vaccine, but some, like Nets guard Kyrie Irving, won’t say if they have been or plan to be vaccinated.More than 90 percent of N.B.A. players have been vaccinated against Covid-19, according to the league, and all referees and key team personnel without exemptions will be, too, by the season’s start in three weeks. But a few high-profile players, including the Nets star guard Kyrie Irving, have expressed skepticism about vaccines or been evasive about their vaccination status.Because the Nets are projected to be a top championship contender, and the team is one of just three whose players must be vaccinated to play in their home arenas, Irving’s vaccination status could be as much of a factor in the N.B.A. rankings as his team’s play.“I would like to keep all that private,” Irving told reporters on Monday in response to a question about whether he expected to play home games this season. “Please just respect my privacy. All the questions leading into what’s happening, just please. Everything will be released at a due date once we get this cleared up.”While the Nets held their media day at Barclays Center on Monday, Irving answered questions from reporters by video conference instead of in person. Multiple reports said that Irving was not present because of the league’s health protocols. In Rolling Stone magazine over the weekend, Irving’s aunt Tyki Irving was quoted as saying that Irving was unvaccinated for reasons “not religious-based, it’s moral-based.” It’s not clear when the interview took place.Since Sept. 13, Barclays Center and Madison Square Garden, where the Knicks play, have required all employees and guests ages 12 and up without a religious or medical exemption to show proof of having received at least one vaccine dose, to comply with a mandate from Mayor Bill de Blasio regarding sports arenas.A similar requirement in San Francisco applies to Chase Center, where the Golden State Warriors play. These mandates mean that the players from the Knicks, Nets and Golden State cannot play in their teams’ 41 home games without being vaccinated, which the N.B.A. and the New York arenas are defining as having received at least one dose. At Chase Center, players must be fully vaccinated. The N.B.A. has said that teams do not have to pay players for missing those games because they are not vaccinated. For Irving, who is in the third year of a four-year, $136 million contract, that could mean a substantial loss.The N.B.A. players’ union has not agreed to a vaccine mandate for its members, but the referees’ union did agree to one. All league and team personnel who come within 15 feet of players must be fully vaccinated unless they have religious or medical exemptions. In the W.N.B.A., 99 percent of players were fully vaccinated by June. The women’s league does not have a vaccination mandate.At least one N.B.A. player has tried to obtain a religious exemption to forgo the vaccine: Golden State guard Andrew Wiggins. The league said Friday that it had rejected his request. Like Irving, Wiggins would not discuss his vaccination status on Monday, during Golden State’s media day.“Who are you guys where I have to explain what I believe?” Wiggins said. “Or what’s right or what’s wrong in my mind?”In Washington at the Wizards’ media day, however, guard Bradley Beal explained why he is unvaccinated. The three-time All-Star missed the Tokyo Olympics after testing positive for the coronavirus. Beal told reporters of the experience: “I didn’t get sick at all. I lost my smell, but that was it for me. Everybody is going to react differently.“Some people have bad reactions to the vaccine. Nobody likes to talk about that. What happens if one of our players gets the vaccine and can’t play after that? Or they have complications after that? Because there are cases like that.”There are no publicly known cases of professional basketball players missing time because of side effects related to the vaccine, and severe side effects are rare for anyone. However, some athletes have spoken about lingering respiratory and muscle issues after having Covid-19. The N.B.A. and the players’ union reported more than 75 positive coronavirus tests among players during the 2020-21 season, most of them before vaccines were widely available.Another vocal vaccine skeptic is the Orlando Magic’s Jonathan Isaac, a 23-year-old forward, who told Rolling Stone he was unvaccinated, and confirmed it on Monday to reporters.“At the end of the day, it’s people,” Isaac told the magazine, referring to the scientists who developed the vaccines. “And you can’t always put your trust completely in people.”.css-1xzcza9{list-style-type:disc;padding-inline-start:1em;}.css-3btd0c{font-family:nyt-franklin,helvetica,arial,sans-serif;font-size:1rem;line-height:1.375rem;color:#333;margin-bottom:0.78125rem;}@media (min-width:740px){.css-3btd0c{font-size:1.0625rem;line-height:1.5rem;margin-bottom:0.9375rem;}}.css-3btd0c strong{font-weight:600;}.css-3btd0c em{font-style:italic;}.css-1kpebx{margin:0 auto;font-family:nyt-franklin,helvetica,arial,sans-serif;font-weight:700;font-size:1.125rem;line-height:1.3125rem;color:#121212;}#NYT_BELOW_MAIN_CONTENT_REGION .css-1kpebx{font-family:nyt-cheltenham,georgia,’times new roman’,times,serif;font-weight:700;font-size:1.375rem;line-height:1.625rem;}@media (min-width:740px){#NYT_BELOW_MAIN_CONTENT_REGION .css-1kpebx{font-size:1.6875rem;line-height:1.875rem;}}@media (min-width:740px){.css-1kpebx{font-size:1.25rem;line-height:1.4375rem;}}.css-1gtxqqv{margin-bottom:0;}.css-16ed7iq{width:100%;display:-webkit-box;display:-webkit-flex;display:-ms-flexbox;display:flex;-webkit-align-items:center;-webkit-box-align:center;-ms-flex-align:center;align-items:center;-webkit-box-pack:center;-webkit-justify-content:center;-ms-flex-pack:center;justify-content:center;padding:10px 0;background-color:white;}.css-pmm6ed{display:-webkit-box;display:-webkit-flex;display:-ms-flexbox;display:flex;-webkit-align-items:center;-webkit-box-align:center;-ms-flex-align:center;align-items:center;}.css-pmm6ed > :not(:first-child){margin-left:5px;}.css-5gimkt{font-family:nyt-franklin,helvetica,arial,sans-serif;font-size:0.8125rem;font-weight:700;-webkit-letter-spacing:0.03em;-moz-letter-spacing:0.03em;-ms-letter-spacing:0.03em;letter-spacing:0.03em;text-transform:uppercase;color:#333;}.css-5gimkt:after{content:’Collapse’;}.css-rdoyk0{-webkit-transition:all 0.5s ease;transition:all 0.5s ease;-webkit-transform:rotate(180deg);-ms-transform:rotate(180deg);transform:rotate(180deg);}.css-eb027h{max-height:5000px;-webkit-transition:max-height 0.5s ease;transition:max-height 0.5s ease;}.css-6mllg9{-webkit-transition:all 0.5s ease;transition:all 0.5s ease;position:relative;opacity:0;}.css-6mllg9:before{content:”;background-image:linear-gradient(180deg,transparent,#ffffff);background-image:-webkit-linear-gradient(270deg,rgba(255,255,255,0),#ffffff);height:80px;width:100%;position:absolute;bottom:0px;pointer-events:none;}.css-19zsuqr{display:block;margin-bottom:0.9375rem;}.css-12vbvwq{background-color:white;border:1px solid #e2e2e2;width:calc(100% – 40px);max-width:600px;margin:1.5rem auto 1.9rem;padding:15px;box-sizing:border-box;}@media (min-width:740px){.css-12vbvwq{padding:20px;width:100%;}}.css-12vbvwq:focus{outline:1px solid #e2e2e2;}#NYT_BELOW_MAIN_CONTENT_REGION .css-12vbvwq{border:none;padding:10px 0 0;border-top:2px solid #121212;}.css-12vbvwq[data-truncated] .css-rdoyk0{-webkit-transform:rotate(0deg);-ms-transform:rotate(0deg);transform:rotate(0deg);}.css-12vbvwq[data-truncated] .css-eb027h{max-height:300px;overflow:hidden;-webkit-transition:none;transition:none;}.css-12vbvwq[data-truncated] .css-5gimkt:after{content:’See more’;}.css-12vbvwq[data-truncated] .css-6mllg9{opacity:1;}.css-qjk116{margin:0 auto;overflow:hidden;}.css-qjk116 strong{font-weight:700;}.css-qjk116 em{font-style:italic;}.css-qjk116 a{color:#326891;-webkit-text-decoration:underline;text-decoration:underline;text-underline-offset:1px;-webkit-text-decoration-thickness:1px;text-decoration-thickness:1px;-webkit-text-decoration-color:#326891;text-decoration-color:#326891;}.css-qjk116 a:visited{color:#326891;-webkit-text-decoration-color:#326891;text-decoration-color:#326891;}.css-qjk116 a:hover{-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;}According to Rolling Stone, Isaac was “studying Black history and watching Donald Trump’s press conferences” to inform his vaccine stance. (Former President Donald J. Trump was vaccinated in January, but states that he won in the 2020 election have much lower vaccination rates than those that favored President Biden.)On Monday, Isaac disputed the magazine’s characterization of him.“I’m not anti-vax. I’m not anti-medicine. I’m not anti-science. I didn’t come to my current vaccination status by studying Black history or watching Donald Trump press conferences,” Isaac said. “I have nothing but the utmost respect for every health care worker and person in Orlando and all across the world that have worked tirelessly to keep us safe.”Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker, who helped lead his team to the finals last season, announced on a Twitch livestream over the weekend that he had Covid-19 and had lost his senses of taste and smell. He is expected to miss at least part of training camp, which begins this week, as a result.“I’m not going to tell you guys if I have the vaccine or not, but you can still get Covid with the vaccine,” Booker said on the stream, adding, “Educate yourself.”Several players have participated in campaigns encouraging people to get vaccinated, including Jrue Holiday of the Milwaukee Bucks and Karl-Anthony Towns of the Minnesota Timberwolves, whose mother died of Covid-19. Commissioner Adam Silver said in the spring that he expected most players to get vaccinated.Several of Irving’s teammates said on Monday that they were not worried about his vaccination status.“That’s on Kyrie, and that’s his personal decision,” Nets forward Kevin Durant said. “What he does is not on us to speculate what may be happening, but we trust in Kyrie. I expect us to have our whole team at some point.” More

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    Tennis Players Want a Choice About Vaccination; Tours Encourage It

    Despite the possible consequences of not being vaccinated — illness and the loss of income and opportunity to play — tennis players have been stubbornly slow to get the vaccine.When the United States Tennis Association announced on Friday that proof of coronavirus vaccination would be required for all spectators 12 and older to enter the grounds of the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, it widened a gulf between the spectators and the players they’ll be watching at the U.S. Open.Adults in the stands will now be roughly twice as likely to be vaccinated as the players on court: The WTA said “nearly 50 percent” of its players were vaccinated, while the ATP said its vaccination rates were “just above 50 percent.”Despite the possible consequences of not being vaccinated — illness, of course, but also the inability to play and make money — tennis players have been stubbornly slow on the uptake, even as many have lost opportunities to play in major tournaments because of positive tests. While some players are openly skeptical of the need for a vaccine as a healthy young person, some simply haven’t prioritized it.The French veteran Gilles Simon, who was disqualified from the U.S. Open on Friday for “medical reasons,” confirmed in an interview with L’Equipe that he was removed because he hadn’t been vaccinated. Simon’s coach, Etienne Laforgue, tested positive for the coronavirus after arriving in New York, and Simon was disqualified because he was deemed a “close contact.”“I was not against it to the point of never being vaccinated, I’m just saying I didn’t feel the need or the urge,” Simon told L’Equipe.Simon would have remained eligible to compete in the tournament, with increased testing, if he had been vaccinated.“I’m not very scared of Covid, actually,” Simon said. “My basic philosophy is: ‘If you’re afraid of it, you get vaccinated; if not, no.’ It’s still a choice.”Simon must now isolate in his hotel room for 10 days, according to federal and New York City guidelines. Simon, 36 and ranked 103rd, rued that his hotel room, where he will stay during what he admitted might have been his last U.S. Open, lacks a nice view.“If your last memory of a U.S. Open is 10 days in a room, it is not one you want to keep,” he said.The highest-profile tennis player to miss this year’s U.S. Open because of a positive Covid test is the fifth-ranked Sofia Kenin, who, despite disappointing results this year, remains the highest-ranked American on either tour under the pandemic-adjusted ranking system. Kenin said she had tested positive despite being vaccinated.“Fortunately I am vaccinated, and thus my symptoms have been fairly mild,” she said.Many tennis players have been able to take advantage of on-site vaccination programs set up by tournaments as they travel on tour. The top-ranked Ashleigh Barty, whose native Australia has lagged behind in its vaccination rollout, was able to get vaccinated in April at a tournament in Charleston, S.C. Before she did, Barty made sure that she wasn’t cutting in line.“That was important to me, knowing that those who were the most vulnerable were able to get it first,” she said in April.Simon’s contention that vaccination should remain a choice is supported by both tours, even as they urge players to choose vaccination.Other sports have been more successful at getting their athletes to get the shot. The W.N.B.A. said in June that 99 percent of its players were vaccinated. The M.L.S. Players Association said in July that it was “approaching 95 percent.” This week, the N.F.L. announced it had reached a player vaccination rate of nearly 93 percent. Michele Roberts, executive director of the National Basketball Players Association, said in July that 90 percent of N.B.A. players were vaccinated. Earlier this month, the N.H.L. said its player vaccination rate was at 85 percent, and its union warned that unvaccinated players might lose pay if they tested positive.In tennis, where each player is an independent contractor, there is no player union to encourage unified behavior and no general manager or team owner to encourage vaccination for the team’s competitive benefit. Other individual sports are still ahead of tennis, however: The PGA said early this month that its player vaccination rate was “above 70 percent.”“While we respect everyone’s right to free choice, we also believe that each player has a role to play in helping the wider group achieve a safe level of immunity,” the ATP said in a statement. “Doing so will allow us to ease restrictions on-site for the benefit of everyone on Tour.”The WTA said it “strongly believes in and encourages everyone to get a vaccine,” and has set a goal for 85 percent of players to be vaccinated by the end of the year. But it is currently “not requiring players to get a vaccine as this is a personal decision, and one which we respect.”Sofia Kenin was forced to withdraw from the U.S. Open after testing positive despite being vaccinated.Robert Deutsch/USA Today Sports, via ReutersThe third-ranked Stefanos Tsitsipas caused an uproar in his native Greece earlier this month after he said that he would get vaccinated only if it were required to continue competing..css-1xzcza9{list-style-type:disc;padding-inline-start:1em;}.css-3btd0c{font-family:nyt-franklin,helvetica,arial,sans-serif;font-size:1rem;line-height:1.375rem;color:#333;margin-bottom:0.78125rem;}@media (min-width:740px){.css-3btd0c{font-size:1.0625rem;line-height:1.5rem;margin-bottom:0.9375rem;}}.css-3btd0c strong{font-weight:600;}.css-3btd0c em{font-style:italic;}.css-w739ur{margin:0 auto 5px;font-family:nyt-franklin,helvetica,arial,sans-serif;font-weight:700;font-size:1.125rem;line-height:1.3125rem;color:#121212;}#NYT_BELOW_MAIN_CONTENT_REGION .css-w739ur{font-family:nyt-cheltenham,georgia,’times new roman’,times,serif;font-weight:700;font-size:1.375rem;line-height:1.625rem;}@media (min-width:740px){#NYT_BELOW_MAIN_CONTENT_REGION .css-w739ur{font-size:1.6875rem;line-height:1.875rem;}}@media (min-width:740px){.css-w739ur{font-size:1.25rem;line-height:1.4375rem;}}.css-9s9ecg{margin-bottom:15px;}.css-16ed7iq{width:100%;display:-webkit-box;display:-webkit-flex;display:-ms-flexbox;display:flex;-webkit-align-items:center;-webkit-box-align:center;-ms-flex-align:center;align-items:center;-webkit-box-pack:center;-webkit-justify-content:center;-ms-flex-pack:center;justify-content:center;padding:10px 0;background-color:white;}.css-pmm6ed{display:-webkit-box;display:-webkit-flex;display:-ms-flexbox;display:flex;-webkit-align-items:center;-webkit-box-align:center;-ms-flex-align:center;align-items:center;}.css-pmm6ed > :not(:first-child){margin-left:5px;}.css-5gimkt{font-family:nyt-franklin,helvetica,arial,sans-serif;font-size:0.8125rem;font-weight:700;-webkit-letter-spacing:0.03em;-moz-letter-spacing:0.03em;-ms-letter-spacing:0.03em;letter-spacing:0.03em;text-transform:uppercase;color:#333;}.css-5gimkt:after{content:’Collapse’;}.css-rdoyk0{-webkit-transition:all 0.5s ease;transition:all 0.5s ease;-webkit-transform:rotate(180deg);-ms-transform:rotate(180deg);transform:rotate(180deg);}.css-eb027h{max-height:5000px;-webkit-transition:max-height 0.5s ease;transition:max-height 0.5s ease;}.css-6mllg9{-webkit-transition:all 0.5s ease;transition:all 0.5s ease;position:relative;opacity:0;}.css-6mllg9:before{content:”;background-image:linear-gradient(180deg,transparent,#ffffff);background-image:-webkit-linear-gradient(270deg,rgba(255,255,255,0),#ffffff);height:80px;width:100%;position:absolute;bottom:0px;pointer-events:none;}.css-uf1ume{display:-webkit-box;display:-webkit-flex;display:-ms-flexbox;display:flex;-webkit-box-pack:justify;-webkit-justify-content:space-between;-ms-flex-pack:justify;justify-content:space-between;}.css-wxi1cx{display:-webkit-box;display:-webkit-flex;display:-ms-flexbox;display:flex;-webkit-flex-direction:column;-ms-flex-direction:column;flex-direction:column;-webkit-align-self:flex-end;-ms-flex-item-align:end;align-self:flex-end;}.css-12vbvwq{background-color:white;border:1px solid #e2e2e2;width:calc(100% – 40px);max-width:600px;margin:1.5rem auto 1.9rem;padding:15px;box-sizing:border-box;}@media (min-width:740px){.css-12vbvwq{padding:20px;width:100%;}}.css-12vbvwq:focus{outline:1px solid #e2e2e2;}#NYT_BELOW_MAIN_CONTENT_REGION .css-12vbvwq{border:none;padding:10px 0 0;border-top:2px solid #121212;}.css-12vbvwq[data-truncated] .css-rdoyk0{-webkit-transform:rotate(0deg);-ms-transform:rotate(0deg);transform:rotate(0deg);}.css-12vbvwq[data-truncated] .css-eb027h{max-height:300px;overflow:hidden;-webkit-transition:none;transition:none;}.css-12vbvwq[data-truncated] .css-5gimkt:after{content:’See more’;}.css-12vbvwq[data-truncated] .css-6mllg9{opacity:1;}.css-qjk116{margin:0 auto;overflow:hidden;}.css-qjk116 strong{font-weight:700;}.css-qjk116 em{font-style:italic;}.css-qjk116 a{color:#326891;-webkit-text-decoration:underline;text-decoration:underline;text-underline-offset:1px;-webkit-text-decoration-thickness:1px;text-decoration-thickness:1px;-webkit-text-decoration-color:#326891;text-decoration-color:#326891;}.css-qjk116 a:visited{color:#326891;-webkit-text-decoration-color:#326891;text-decoration-color:#326891;}.css-qjk116 a:hover{-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;}“I don’t see any reason for someone of my age to do it,” said Tsitsipas, 23. “It hasn’t been tested enough and it has side effects. As long as it’s not mandatory, everyone can decide for themselves.”Giannis Oikonomou, a spokesman for the Greek government, said Tsitsipas “has neither the knowledge nor the studies nor the research work that would allow him to form an opinion” about the necessity for vaccination, and added that people like athletes who are widely admired should be “doubly careful in expressing such views.”The top-ranked Novak Djokovic has drawn scrutiny for his approach to health issues throughout the pandemic, and has declined to disclose his own vaccination status. Djokovic said it was a “personal decision” when asked about vaccine protocols on Friday. “Whether someone wants to get a vaccine or not, that’s completely up to them,” Djokovic said. “I hope that it stays that way.”Andy Murray, a member of the ATP player council, said that “there’s going to have to be a lot of pretty long, hard conversations with the tour and all of the players involved to try and come to a solution” on the high number of players holding out on vaccination. He said he appreciated the privileges New York City regulations afforded him as a vaccinated person, such as eating indoors in restaurants.“I feel like I’m enjoying a fairly normal life, whereas for the players that haven’t, it’s different,” Murray said. “I’m sure they’ll be frustrated with that.”Murray said he believes players have a duty to others.“Ultimately I guess the reason why all of us are getting vaccinated is to look out for the wider public,” he said. “We have a responsibility as players that are traveling across the world, yeah, to look out for everyone else as well. I’m happy that I’m vaccinated. I’m hoping that more players choose to have it in the coming months.” More

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    First in N.F.L.: Atlanta Falcons Players 100 Percent Vaccinated, Team Says

    The Atlanta Falcons announced on Monday that the team’s players are all vaccinated against the coronavirus, becoming the first N.F.L. team to reach 100 percent. Achieving that threshold means that all players on the roster now enjoy more freedom and are not subject to certain restrictions.Because all Falcons players are vaccinated, everyone on the team may eat together, work out in the same weight room and not be subjected to daily testing. Close contacts of an individual who tests positive will not need to quarantine. The Falcons said the team’s coaches are all vaccinated as well.As of Tuesday, 91.7 percent of all N.F.L. players are vaccinated, according to a league spokesman.In July, the N.F.L. essentially mandated that players receive the vaccine, saying that those who refuse would face steep possible penalties, like loss of paychecks and game forfeitures if it were proven that an unvaccinated person caused an outbreak that forced a game to be rescheduled. The N.F.L. and the N.F.L. Players Association have also relaxed virus-related protocols, like wearing masks and maintaining physical distance, for vaccinated individuals.The news comes as the regular season approaches and more teams mull vaccination requirements for fans who attend their home games. The New Orleans Saints and Las Vegas Raiders were the first clubs to require that fans show proof of having received at least one dose of vaccine before entering their stadiums. At Saints games, unvaccinated fans may also enter if they show a recent negative test result. More

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    N.F.L. Vaccine Holdouts Face Training Camp Scrutiny

    Though 88.5 percent of all N.F.L. players had received at least one vaccine dose through Friday, some players voiced their hesitance to be inoculated.When asked by reporters Tuesday if he had received the Covid-19 vaccine, Indianapolis Colts defensive lineman DeForest Buckner nodded his head and smiled.“Yes, sir, fully vaccinated,” Buckner said.When asked the same question, his teammate, wide receiver T.Y. Hilton, declined to clearly answer, glancing downward, his response slightly muffled by the mask covering his expression.“It’s a personal decision,” Hilton said, “so let’s just leave it at that.”On Monday, Frank Reich, the Colts’ vaccinated head coach, tested positive in a so-called breakthrough infection. He was asymptomatic, but participated in the start of training camp remotely, Chris Ballard, the team’s general manager, said.As the first week of N.F.L. training camps concluded amid the backdrop of the Delta variant fueling an alarming spike in coronavirus cases nationally, the dichotomy within the Colts’ locker room reflected the discussion among N.F.L. players regarding the vaccine, even as the league offered more education and levied harsher penalties on the unvaccinated.As of Friday morning, 88.5 percent of all players had received at least one vaccine dose, according to an N.F.L. spokesman, a more than 8 percent jump from last week. Twenty of the 32 teams have more than 90 percent of their rosters vaccinated, while two teams, the Colts and the Washington Football Team, have vaccination rates below 70 percent.With training camps open, players can now voice their opinions to the broader public, and their actions are more scrutinized with reporters present. Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson, the 2019 N.F.L. most valuable player, tested positive for the coronavirus this week, his second infection since November. Protocols will require Jackson to miss at least 10 days if he is unvaccinated.Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins and Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Leonard Fournette voiced their hesitancy about the vaccine in July on social media in posts they’ve since deleted..css-1xzcza9{list-style-type:disc;padding-inline-start:1em;}.css-3btd0c{font-family:nyt-franklin,helvetica,arial,sans-serif;font-size:1rem;line-height:1.375rem;color:#333;margin-bottom:0.78125rem;}@media (min-width:740px){.css-3btd0c{font-size:1.0625rem;line-height:1.5rem;margin-bottom:0.9375rem;}}.css-3btd0c strong{font-weight:600;}.css-3btd0c em{font-style:italic;}.css-w739ur{margin:0 auto 5px;font-family:nyt-franklin,helvetica,arial,sans-serif;font-weight:700;font-size:1.125rem;line-height:1.3125rem;color:#121212;}#NYT_BELOW_MAIN_CONTENT_REGION .css-w739ur{font-family:nyt-cheltenham,georgia,’times new roman’,times,serif;font-weight:700;font-size:1.375rem;line-height:1.625rem;}@media (min-width:740px){#NYT_BELOW_MAIN_CONTENT_REGION .css-w739ur{font-size:1.6875rem;line-height:1.875rem;}}@media (min-width:740px){.css-w739ur{font-size:1.25rem;line-height:1.4375rem;}}.css-9s9ecg{margin-bottom:15px;}.css-uf1ume{display:-webkit-box;display:-webkit-flex;display:-ms-flexbox;display:flex;-webkit-box-pack:justify;-webkit-justify-content:space-between;-ms-flex-pack:justify;justify-content:space-between;}.css-wxi1cx{display:-webkit-box;display:-webkit-flex;display:-ms-flexbox;display:flex;-webkit-flex-direction:column;-ms-flex-direction:column;flex-direction:column;-webkit-align-self:flex-end;-ms-flex-item-align:end;align-self:flex-end;}.css-12vbvwq{background-color:white;border:1px solid #e2e2e2;width:calc(100% – 40px);max-width:600px;margin:1.5rem auto 1.9rem;padding:15px;box-sizing:border-box;}@media (min-width:740px){.css-12vbvwq{padding:20px;width:100%;}}.css-12vbvwq:focus{outline:1px solid #e2e2e2;}#NYT_BELOW_MAIN_CONTENT_REGION .css-12vbvwq{border:none;padding:10px 0 0;border-top:2px solid #121212;}.css-12vbvwq[data-truncated] .css-rdoyk0{-webkit-transform:rotate(0deg);-ms-transform:rotate(0deg);transform:rotate(0deg);}.css-12vbvwq[data-truncated] .css-eb027h{max-height:300px;overflow:hidden;-webkit-transition:none;transition:none;}.css-12vbvwq[data-truncated] .css-5gimkt:after{content:’See more’;}.css-12vbvwq[data-truncated] .css-6mllg9{opacity:1;}.css-qjk116{margin:0 auto;overflow:hidden;}.css-qjk116 strong{font-weight:700;}.css-qjk116 em{font-style:italic;}.css-qjk116 a{color:#326891;-webkit-text-decoration:underline;text-decoration:underline;text-underline-offset:1px;-webkit-text-decoration-thickness:1px;text-decoration-thickness:1px;-webkit-text-decoration-color:#326891;text-decoration-color:#326891;}.css-qjk116 a:visited{color:#326891;-webkit-text-decoration-color:#326891;text-decoration-color:#326891;}.css-qjk116 a:hover{-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;}Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott declined to reveal his vaccination status to reporters this week, inaccurately claiming that doing so would violate the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA. Buffalo Bills wide receiver Cole Beasley, an outspoken vaccine critic, even crafted an original song regarding his stance.Despite high-profile examples of players with reservations about the vaccine, the leaguewide vaccination rate exceeds that of the United States, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reporting that nearly 70 percent of adults have received at least one dose.The N.F.L. in July issued a memo to all 32 teams outlining steep penalties for those who refuse inoculation. If an unvaccinated player or staff member is found to have caused an outbreak that forces a schedule change, the team experiencing the outbreak will be held financially responsible for the other club’s expenses, the memo said. If the game cannot be rescheduled, the team experiencing the outbreak will forfeit.Washington Coach Ron Rivera, left, wore a mask while talking to Tress Way at Thursday’s practice. Kevin Dietsch/Getty ImagesUnvaccinated players still face several restrictions, including daily testing, capacity limits in weight rooms and a requirement to travel on a separate plane from teammates. The league can also fine them as much as $50,000 for breaking Covid-related protocols. Regardless of the decrees from the N.F.L., individual teams still are encountering some resistance.In June, Washington Coach Ron Rivera addressed his team’s low vaccination rate by inviting Kizzmekia Corbett, an immunologist who helped develop the Moderna vaccine, to speak with players and address their questions.Some remained skeptical, including defensive end Montez Sweat, who said he was “not a fan” of the vaccine. Rivera, who is immune-compromised after battling cancer, said he continues to wear a mask around groups of players to protect himself.“‘I’m truly frustrated,” Rivera said. “I’m beyond frustrated.”The scattered messaging among some of the N.F.L.’s recognizable players may sow further doubt in who that may already be distrustful, said Dr. Sherita Golden, vice president and chief diversity officer at Johns Hopkins Medicine.“I do think they need to lead by example and realize the power of their influence,” she said in an interview Thursday. “Them modeling and getting the vaccine and tweeting about it sends a powerful message.”About 70 percent of N.F.L. players are Black, a racial group that is already suspicious of the vaccine and has limited access to it, and whose members are killed by the virus at a higher rate. Only 41 percent of those who have received the vaccine nationally are people of color, according to the C.D.C. and the Kaiser Family Foundation. The distrust among some N.F.L. players mimics societal trends, Golden said.“We don’t know their experiences growing up or interacting with the health care system,” Golden said. “Just because they are athletes doesn’t mean their lived experience doesn’t have influence, and I think we have to acknowledge that.”.css-1xzcza9{list-style-type:disc;padding-inline-start:1em;}.css-3btd0c{font-family:nyt-franklin,helvetica,arial,sans-serif;font-size:1rem;line-height:1.375rem;color:#333;margin-bottom:0.78125rem;}@media (min-width:740px){.css-3btd0c{font-size:1.0625rem;line-height:1.5rem;margin-bottom:0.9375rem;}}.css-3btd0c strong{font-weight:600;}.css-3btd0c em{font-style:italic;}.css-w739ur{margin:0 auto 5px;font-family:nyt-franklin,helvetica,arial,sans-serif;font-weight:700;font-size:1.125rem;line-height:1.3125rem;color:#121212;}#NYT_BELOW_MAIN_CONTENT_REGION .css-w739ur{font-family:nyt-cheltenham,georgia,’times new roman’,times,serif;font-weight:700;font-size:1.375rem;line-height:1.625rem;}@media (min-width:740px){#NYT_BELOW_MAIN_CONTENT_REGION .css-w739ur{font-size:1.6875rem;line-height:1.875rem;}}@media (min-width:740px){.css-w739ur{font-size:1.25rem;line-height:1.4375rem;}}.css-9s9ecg{margin-bottom:15px;}.css-uf1ume{display:-webkit-box;display:-webkit-flex;display:-ms-flexbox;display:flex;-webkit-box-pack:justify;-webkit-justify-content:space-between;-ms-flex-pack:justify;justify-content:space-between;}.css-wxi1cx{display:-webkit-box;display:-webkit-flex;display:-ms-flexbox;display:flex;-webkit-flex-direction:column;-ms-flex-direction:column;flex-direction:column;-webkit-align-self:flex-end;-ms-flex-item-align:end;align-self:flex-end;}.css-12vbvwq{background-color:white;border:1px solid #e2e2e2;width:calc(100% – 40px);max-width:600px;margin:1.5rem auto 1.9rem;padding:15px;box-sizing:border-box;}@media (min-width:740px){.css-12vbvwq{padding:20px;width:100%;}}.css-12vbvwq:focus{outline:1px solid #e2e2e2;}#NYT_BELOW_MAIN_CONTENT_REGION .css-12vbvwq{border:none;padding:10px 0 0;border-top:2px solid #121212;}.css-12vbvwq[data-truncated] .css-rdoyk0{-webkit-transform:rotate(0deg);-ms-transform:rotate(0deg);transform:rotate(0deg);}.css-12vbvwq[data-truncated] .css-eb027h{max-height:300px;overflow:hidden;-webkit-transition:none;transition:none;}.css-12vbvwq[data-truncated] .css-5gimkt:after{content:’See more’;}.css-12vbvwq[data-truncated] .css-6mllg9{opacity:1;}.css-qjk116{margin:0 auto;overflow:hidden;}.css-qjk116 strong{font-weight:700;}.css-qjk116 em{font-style:italic;}.css-qjk116 a{color:#326891;-webkit-text-decoration:underline;text-decoration:underline;text-underline-offset:1px;-webkit-text-decoration-thickness:1px;text-decoration-thickness:1px;-webkit-text-decoration-color:#326891;text-decoration-color:#326891;}.css-qjk116 a:visited{color:#326891;-webkit-text-decoration-color:#326891;text-decoration-color:#326891;}.css-qjk116 a:hover{-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;}The Denver Broncos were one of the first teams in the N.F.L. to vaccinate 85 percent of their players, thanks to a lot of education, discussion and communication, said George Paton, the team’s general manager.Last season, Dr. Michelle Barron, the senior medical director of infection prevention at UCHealth, advised the franchise on Covid-related issues. As the vaccine became widely available this spring, she led informational sessions with the team and privately with players’ families if requested. She also helped coordinate a vaccine clinic in April at the Broncos’ facility. Their vaccination rate did not surprise her, she said.“From the feedback I got, the important thing for them was to feel like they had the information, for them to be able to digest and then come back and ask smart questions,” Barron said in an interview Thursday.As training camp progresses, unvaccinated players battling for roster spots may face challenges. Beasley said in a news conference that unvaccinated young players have told him they fear they may be cut. Ballard, the Colts general manager, said that those decisions are made on a case-by-case basis, but that the question of vaccination did make the process harder, especially for free agents whose unvaccinated status would mean they’d have to be tested more often. Regardless, he said he would try to evaluate fairly.“Whoever wins the job on the field, that’s who’s making the team,” Ballard said. “I’m not going to take a player just because he’s vaccinated that hadn’t won the job. What message are you sending to your locker room?”Players’ decisions on vaccination will probably be exposed over time. The unvaccinated are required to wear a mask when addressing the news media, unless they are outdoors and physically distant — a practice some inoculated players still choose to follow. Some teams, such as the Pittsburgh Steelers, identify unvaccinated players with colored wristbands, a tactic Cleveland Browns center J.C. Tretter, the president of the N.F.L. Players Association, called “nonsensical.” Asked if he was prepared to operate under similar circumstances if needed, Hilton said, “Absolutely.”The stringent new rules, though, seem to have had an effect. Colts running back Nyheim Hines said that he initially did not want to be vaccinated, but that the protocols had changed his mind. He called the shift a “business decision.”Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill agreed, saying he would not have received the vaccine otherwise.“They’re trying to force your hand, and they ultimately have forced a lot of hands,” Tannehill said. More