Chris Klieman, Mask PSA

Kansas State head football coach Chris Klieman appeared in a public service announcement last year urging Riley County citizens to wear masks when out in public. Klieman said Tuesday that he is encouraging all his players to receive COVID vaccinations.

All Kansas residents 16 and older are now eligible to receive coronavirus vaccinations.

Kansas State head football coach Chris Klieman hopes his players take advantage of it.

“We’d like to have them vaccinated before summer,” Klieman said Tuesday. “We don’t know how that’s going to look. I know that Lafene Health Center is starting to put out some things to vaccinate a lot of the students on campus or have the ability to.”

Klieman doesn’t simply want his players to get vaccinated, though.

He’s encouraging them to do so. Athletics officials said they can’t force players to get the vaccine.

“We know the value. We know how important it is,” he said. “We’re going to keep pushing it. We hope there’s not anybody who doesn’t want to get vaccinated.”

Education and repetition about the vaccine’s importance, Klieman said, is critical to assuaging any fears players may have.

“We need to do a great job of educating our players on the benefits of eliminating some social distancing, eliminating some mask wearing, eliminating some quarantines — all those things — so that we can get herd immunity so that we can keep pushing past this COVID phase, because everybody wants to get back to some normalcy,” he said. “The best way to get back to normalcy is to get everybody vaccinated.”

Klieman said nearly every member of his coaching staff has received two doses and “are fully vaccinated.”

He implored everyone else to do the same, ending his press conference with a plea akin to a public service announcement.

“So if you have a chance — everybody out there — to get a shot, boy, please take it,” he said, “and let’s get COVID behind us and keep moving forward and get everybody vaccinated that can.”