NFL

Can NBA players who have not been vaccinated play?

The 2021-2022 NBA season is set to start on Tuesday, Oct. 19, but some players might not see action depending on whether or not they are vaccinated.

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Can NBA players who have not been vaccinated play?
KEVORK DJANSEZIAN AFP

The upcoming NBA season is about to begin in less than a week, and the issue of vaccination and how it relates to players being able to be on the hardcourt has been a thorny one.

According to NBA guidelines, players are NOT required to receive the covid-19 vaccine. The National Basketball Players Association has rejected recommendations that vaccination be mandatory for their athletes.

Other NBA staff members however, are compelled to be fully vaccinated against the coronavirus. These include all workers who will be near or on the court, including coaches, front office members, medical staff, referees, and photojournalists.

NBA players to comply with local vaccine rules

Even without an NBA vaccine mandate, some players will not be able to play if they have not received the shot. This is because local regulations in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York will prevent unvaccinated players from the home team from entering the game venue. Out-of-town teams will be required to adhere to different covid-19 protocols.

New York and San Francisco currently enforce the mandate, affecting players from the New York Knicks, the Brooklyn Nets, and the Golden State Warriors. The policy will take effect in Los Angeles on Nov. 29, and will have an impact on the Los Angeles Lakers and the LA Clippers.

Kyrie Irving banned from playing until he receives jab

The Knicks, Warriors, Lakers, and Clippers have all announced that they are either fully vaccinated or expect to be so by the time Opening Night rolls around. The Nets are the only ones who have a problematic player in Kyrie Irving, who refuses to talk about his vaccination status.

Nets General Manager Sean Marks however has put his foot down and announced that the star point guard will not be allowed to play for the team until he is vaccinated.

The NBA has reached a 95% vaccination rate for its players. This comes after the association’s announcement that unvaccinated players with games in cities with a vaccine mandate will have to take a pay cut.