Report: NBA players won’t be required to get Covid shots
NBA referees and most NBA staff are mandated to be vaccinated against coronavirus for the next season, but this reportedly will not apply to players.
According to ESPN’s Baxter Holmes and Adrian Wojnarowski, the league and the NBPA or players union are still ironing out Covid protocols for the 2021-2022 NBA season. The National Basketball Players Association refuses to change its position on the vaccination issue that has been described as a “non-starter”.
Referees as well as team or arena staff members that come into contact with players are already required to get the vaccine. These include photographers, coaches, and people who sit at the scorer’s table.
ESPN says the NBPA is closed to the idea of obligating players to get vaccinated, even though approximately 85 percent of them already are. The NBA will also not test fully vaccinated players regularly.
Stricter rules for unvaccinated players
The basketball league reportedly plans to implement stricter Covid protocols for players who are not vaccinated as compared to their vaccinated counterparts.
The restrictions include requiring them to undergo frequent testing, as well as wearing masks and sitting apart from others during team events. They will also have lockers far from their teammates who have had their shots, and they will have to fly and ride buses separately.
The added constraints could motivate players who have not received the shot to finally get the vaccine.
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Local government Covid-19 guidelines still apply
But some teams will have to follow additional local government Covid-19 rules. New York City and San Francisco’s Covid protocol will require that players for the New York Knicks, Brooklyn Nets, and Golden State Warriors be vaccinated to be able to play in home games, unless there is an approved medical or religious exemption, according to ESPN.
This rule will not apply to players from visiting teams.