NBA's coronavirus memo reportedly encourages players to shun high-fives for fist bumps, limit autographs


The NBA has sent out a memo advising players on precautions to avoid contracting the coronavirus that leads to COVID-19, ESPN reports.

Among the advised measures?

No high-fives. Limit physical interactions with fans.

“The coronavirus remains a situation with the potential to change rapidly,” the memo reportedly reads.

With much still unknown about the virus other than its propensity to spread, the NBA is encouraging players to take basic precautions to limit physical contact with other people.

The NBA is discouraging players from physical interactions with fans. (Photo by Guan Yunan/VCG via Getty Images)
The NBA is discouraging players from physical interactions with fans. (Photo by Guan Yunan/VCG via Getty Images)

No high-fives

The memo suggests that instead of high-fiving fans, players instead get into the habit of fist bumps. It also encourages players to decline handling objects such as balls and pens for autograph requests.

It’s a measure Portland Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum has already implemented.

Handshakes on the way out?

The fist-bump advice echoes that of experts who have encouraged the general public to eschew handshakes amid the spread of the coronavirus.

“We cannot hermetically seal the United States,’’ U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams said at a Monday news conference in Connecticut. “We’re encouraging communities to think about the steps they can take to limit spread within communities to mitigate the effects of the virus.’’

Adams encouraged people to greet each other with elbow bumps instead of handshakes and sing “Happy Birthday” while washing their hands to make sure they spend enough to to get properly clean.

An NBA statement provided to the Associated Press on Sunday noted that the league was working with experts to come up with a strategy.

“The health and safety of our employees, teams, players and fans is paramount,” the statement reads. “We are coordinating with our teams and consulting with the CDC and infectious disease specialists on the coronavirus and continue to monitor the situation closely.”

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