NBA Players will not be required to get COVID-19 Vaccine

Photo of LeBron and Anthony Davis

Straight from the commissioner’s mouth, NBA players will not have to get vaccinated to play in the upcoming 2021-22 season.

Roughly 85% of players are vaccinated, a league spokesman recently said, and, in a preliminary memo obtained by ESPN in early September, the league outlined a set of strict protocols for unvaccinated players. Such protocols include having lockers far from vaccinated teammates and having to eat, fly and ride buses in different sections. These protocols are not final and are still subject to talks with the NBPA.

The NFL, MLB and NHL have yet to mandate COVID-19 vaccinations for athletes, but unvaccinated players in those leagues must work and live under stricter guidelines. An unvaccinated NHL player could be withheld if time is lost due to a positive test for the virus, and the NFL has threatened those players will not be paid for any games canceled due to an outbreak of virus among unvaccinated personnel.

As of now, unvaccinated players from the New York Knicks, Brooklyn Nets and Golden State Warriors will not be able to participate in home games under New York City and San Francisco laws unless they receive approved medical or religious exemptions.

Within the last week, President Joe Biden announced a sweeping set of vaccine mandates that could impact as many as 100 million Americans.


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