Coronavirus vaccines have been the center of heated debate for the past year and a half, and the NBA is no different.
The league will not require players to receive their full COVID-19 vaccines for the 2021-22 season. However, the NBA will have separate protocols for vaccinated and unvaccinated players in an effort to encourage individuals to receive their vaccines.
Fully vaccinated players will avoid regular testing and will be able to sit together in locker rooms, at team meals and while on the move. They also don’t have to self-quarantine when considered close contact, unless they start showing symptoms of COVID-19. Unvaccinated players, on the other hand, will need to undergo testing every training or travel day, and they could be tested multiple times on match days. Those without vaccines must maintain social distancing and quarantine if they come into close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19.
And while the WNBA announced in June 2021 that 99% of players have been vaccinated against COVID-19, the NBA was recently rejected by several stars, including Kyrie Irving, Andrew Wiggins and Bradley Beal.
Here’s a look at who is and who isn’t vaccinated in the NBA:
Which NBA players are not vaccinated against COVID-19?
Brooklyn Nets goalie Kyrie Irving is reportedly not discussing his COVID-19 vaccination status with reporters on Team Media Day.
“Please just respect my privacy,” Irving insisted. “All questions sort of lead to what’s going on, please – everything will be released by a deadline, and once we sort that out… I know I’ll be there every day no matter what. happens and that I would just be there for my teammates as one of the team leaders.
However, Irving had to participate in the Nets media day at Barclays Center via Zoom due to New York’s COVID-19 protocols. The city’s mayor, Bill de Blasio, issued an executive order that requires New York resident athletes who train or play indoors to show proof of at least one vaccine.
If Irving isn’t vaccinated before the Nets’ season starts, he could potentially miss Brooklyn’s 41 home games … and the team doesn’t have to pay him for missing those games due to his vaccination status . According to Vincent Goodwill, editor-in-chief of the NBA on Yahoo, league sources believe Irving will indeed receive the vaccine, citing the influence of teammate and close friend Kevin Durant.
Likewise, the Golden State Warriors‘ Andrew Wiggins will not be eligible for home games in San Francisco after telling reporters that he is not vaccinated.
Wiggins didn’t explain why he didn’t get the shot, saying, “It’s none of your business.” According to a warrant issued by the City of San Francisco, only fully vaccinated people will be allowed inside the Chase Center.
NBA refused Wiggins’ request for a religious exemption from obtaining the COVID-19 vaccine.
Washington Wizards star Bradley Beal is also not vaccinated against COVID-19, citing personal reasons to reporters on the team’s media day.
“I would like an explanation to people who have been vaccinated, why are they still getting COVID? Beal asked. “If this is something we’re supposed to be highly protected from, it’s funny that it only reduces your chances of going to the hospital. This does not prevent anyone from contracting COVID. “
Before the Magic of Orlando Jonathan isaac also revealed on media day that he was not vaccinated, claiming he had “natural immunity” after previously having COVID-19.
“I understand that the vaccine would help if you have COVID you may have fewer symptoms by contracting it,” Isaac said. “But with me having COVID in the past and having antibodies, with my current age group and my level of fitness, it’s not necessarily a fear for me.
“Taking the vaccine, like I said, would reduce my chances of having a serious reaction, but it opens up to the chance, although rare, but the possibility of having an adverse reaction to the vaccine itself- same. “
There have been no reported cases of NBA players running out of time due to vaccine-related side effects, according to the New York Times.
Devin Booker of the Phoenix Suns is currently battling COVID-19, claiming on a Twitch stream that he has lost his sense of taste and smell. Booker will miss part of the Suns’ training camp.
“I’m not going to tell you guys if I have the vaccine or not, but you can still get COVID with the vaccine,” Booker said on the feed, declining to reveal his vaccine status. “Get educated. “
Which NBA players have received the COVID-19 vaccine?
While recent comments from unvaccinated players have grabbed the headlines lately, it’s important to note that 90% of NBA players have reportedly been vaccinated against COVID-19.
Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James discussed his immunization status on Tuesday.
“I know I was very skeptical about all of this, but after doing my research I felt it suited not only me, but my family and friends. That’s why I decided to do it, ”said James, adding that he would not comment or get involved in the decisions of other players. “You know me, everything I’m talking about, I’m not talking about other people and what they should be doing. I speak for myself and my family.
Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo also told reporters on the team’s media day that he was vaccinated to protect his family.
“I did what was best for me and my family to stay protected,” Antetokounmpo said. “… For me, I gave it all up and I think it was the best decision for me to be safe with my kids.”
Portland Trail Blazers goalie Damian Lillard echoed the MVP’s sentiments when discussing his decision to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
In April 2021, several NBA stars took part in a league-wide campaign to encourage the public to get vaccinated against COVID-19. At the forefront of the campaign were Bucks goalie Jrue Holiday and Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns, whose mother and six other family members have died from the virus.
“Vaccines are one of the most important tools we have to control the spread and effects of COVID-19. It is safe, effective and will help protect you and your loved ones, ”Holiday said. Gordon Hayward of the Charlotte Hornets, Klay Thompson of the Warriors, Danilo Gallinari of the Atlanta Hawks, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander of the Oklahoma City Thunder, Jaren Jackson Jr. of the Memphis Grizzlies, Domantas Sabonis of the Indiana Pacers, Blazers also participated in the campaign. ‘Robert Covington and Tyler Herro of Miami Heat.
Blazers star Jusuf Nurkic has also spoken out in favor of the COVID-19 vaccine, encouraging his Twitter followers that it is the “best protection” and “fastest way to get back to normal” after received his vaccine in March 2021.
Boston Celtics center Enes Kanter, who also received his vaccine in March, is also encouraging players and the public to get vaccinated and “save lives.”
“If you’re a player and you haven’t been vaccinated and you miss a week or two,” Kanter explained. “… that could literally change the whole season – and we’re trying to win a championship!” “
In addition to the players, all referees and key team personnel must have received their vaccinations by the start of the season on October 19. This week only ESPN reported that vaccinated NBA staff members are upset that players do not face the same vaccine requirements, citing concerns about the health risks of being exposed to players who are not vaccinated against COVID- 19.