The debate over vaccine mandates is heating up. Potentially, no other event or sports league has had a tougher decision to make on vaccine mandates than the NBA. A couple of weeks back we reported that players were not going to be forced to get vaccinated. However, things got way more complicated when local vaccine mandates in certain cities forced players as well as fans to be vaccinated to enter the arena. This issue affects the New York and New Jersey area teams, as well as teams in the San Francisco Bay Area.
No Exemptions For Players
As of right now, the NBA has not come to an agreement with its player’s association over a vaccine mandate for players. At the same time, there has been no way to make local authorities budge on the issue. Leaving the league with few options the NBA’s executive vice president of communications, Mike Bass, issued a statement announcing the lack of payment for players who are ineligible to play in certain cities. Saying,
“Any player who elects not to comply with local vaccination mandates will not be paid for games that he misses,”
— Shomari Stone (@shomaristone) September 29, 2021
The Star Players Who Could Be Overly Affected By The Mandates
There are essentially three teams that are in real trouble if they have star players that are unwilling to get vaccinated. Those are the New York Knicks, The Brooklyn Nets, and the Golden State Warriors. The Knicks already announced that the entire team and the staff is fully vaccinated. So they won’t have any type of trouble playing home games.
It’s the Nets and the Warriors who are having trouble with their players the most. In the Nets case, Kyrie Irving is the player in question. For the Warriors, Andrew Wiggins is one of the players at risk.
Is Kyrie Irving Looking To Get Vaccinated?
If things remain as they stand right now the Nets would be without star point guard Kyrie Irving for all of their home games this season! Kyrie was recently asked about his vaccination status in a virtual meeting with reporters. He replied,
“[He] would like to keep all that private.”
Common sense, though, dictates that at least at the time of the virtual meeting Kyrie wasn’t vaccinated. Otherwise, he would’ve been not only allowed but contractually obligated to appear in person at the media day that the rest of the team held. Due to his vaccination status, he’s not allowed in public events at the arena.
Religious Beliefs Cannot Be Used To Excuse Yourself From The Mandate
We’re not even going to comment on what’s right or wrong here. Golden State Warriors player Andrew Wiggins revealed that he had tried to apply for a religious exemption from the vaccine. This would potentially allow him to play in home games and keep his check without getting vaccinated. Wiggins though also said that his exception was denied saying to reporters recently,
“My back is definitely against the wall, I’m going to keep fighting for what I believe … What’s right to one person isn’t right to another, vice versa. … It’s none of your business.”