Snell’s situation has reignited the conversation around the American healthcare system, which, in many cases, is only accessible through an employer offered healthcare package.
Snell’s situation has reignited the conversation around the American healthcare system, which, in many cases, is only accessible through an employer offered healthcare package. In this case, the employer is the NBA, and though Snell has made millions of dollars in the NBA, his family is ineligible for the premium healthcare benefits of the league. This has prompted a response from Charles Barkley, the NBA on TNT co-host who has famously refused to appear in the NBA 2K video game series over their refusal to invest in a fund for retired NBA players.
Barkley called on teams in the NBA to step up to help Snell, saying: “The NBA’s been great to all of us sitting up here,” Barkley said. “And you guys are gonna be playing basketball forever making a gazillion dollars. I hope one of you guys signs Tony so his two autistic kids can get great medical care…I hope a team signs him for the rest of the season, because I don’t know a lot about autism, I ain’t gonna say that. But man, I know it’s gotta be expensive to have two young kids with that situation. I’m hoping the NBA, we always talk about what a family we are, let’s sign that kid for the rest of the season.”
Charles Barkley calls on NBA teams to sign Tony Snell after a viral article from @YahooSports this week detailed the veteran forward’s need for medical coverage for his two children with Autism pic.twitter.com/VOgk2RF73o— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) February 2, 2024
Snell added, “I’m like, if (Karter) is diagnosed, then I think I am too. … That gave me the courage to go get checked up.” That initial inkling led to a diagnosis, which didn’t surprise Snell. “I was not surprised because I always felt different. … It was just relief, like, oh, this why I am the way I am. It just made my whole life, everything about my life, make so much sense. It was like a clarity, like putting some 3D glasses on.”
According to The Athletic, several teams have roster spots and could sign Snell to a standard contract, which would give Snell an opportunity to qualify for the premium family health plan offered under the NBA’s CBA. However, four of those teams are currently over the luxury tax, which increases how much they would actually pay for Snell’s contract.
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Source: Black Enterprise