It appears that many NBA players are opposed to the COVID-19 vaccine and various issues have arisen regarding the league’s protocols, according to an in-depth article from Rolling StoneMatt sullivan. Nets point guard Kyrie Irving’s distrust of the vaccine is noted alongside several vaccinated NBA players voicing their concerns about the upcoming NBA season.
On August 7, the National Basketball Players Association had a virtual meeting with the league where COVID-19 protocols were discussed. The NBA wanted to agree on the terms that 100% of NBA players should be vaccinated, but the problem was a “non-starter.” No-starter, “said the players and an executive Rolling Stone. The unvaccinated players closed that proposal and agreed that there should be tests, but not during the days off. However, they did accept the mandatory masks on the court and on the road.
The NBA accepted these terms and also made the “suggested” social distance trips, according to Rolling Stone. NBA regulators will also be on the lookout for counterfeit vaccine cards, but only if they are informed of a problem. Among the unvaccinated coalition is Irving, who is the vice chairman of the players union executive committee.
Irving recently started liking Instagram posts and following an account that claims “secret societies” are implanting vaccines in a scheme to connect blacks with a master computer for “a plan of Satan,” according to Rolling Stone. Misinformation and conspiracy theories have spread to NBA locker rooms across the country, according to the report.
New York and San Francisco are the only two places that have required professional athletes to show proof of a COVID-19 vaccine dose to play indoors, except with an approved medical or religious exemption. Golden State’s Andrew Wiggins was denied a religious exemption earlier this week. But, one of Irving’s family members weighed in on a possible idea for unvaccinated players: They could sit outside of games in New York and San Francisco, even if it’s their team.
“There are so many other players outside of him who are opting out, I’d like to think they would make a path,” said Kyrie’s aunt, Tyki Irving, who runs his family’s foundation and is one of his advisers. Rolling Stone. “It could be like every third game. So it still gives you a full season of being interactive and being on the court, but with the limitations that, of course, oppress you. There may be some kind of formula in which the NBA and the players can reach some kind of agreement. “
Irving’s vaccination status is unclear, but NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar felt great about it.
“The NBA should insist that all players and staff be vaccinated or removed from the team,” Abdul-Jabbar said. Rolling Stone. “There is no place for players who are willing to risk the health and lives of their teammates, staff and fans simply because they cannot understand the seriousness of the situation or do the necessary research. What I find especially insincere about the vaccine deniers is their arrogance for not believing in immunology and other medical experts. However, if your child were sick or they needed emergency medical treatment themselves, how quickly would they do exactly what those same experts told them to do? “
Magic forward Jonathan Isaac shared his mistrust of the vaccine. Isaac said Rolling Stone who began studying African American history, watching Donald Trump press conferences, and learning about antibody resistance. Also he said Rolling Stone He came to distrust Dr. Anthony Fauci.
Celtics center Enes Kanter, who is a devout Muslim, shared his problems with the use of a religious exception.
“If a man is not going to get vaccinated because of his religion, I feel like we are at a time where religion and science have to go together,” he said. Rolling Stone. “I’ve talked to a lot of religious men, I tell them, ‘Save people’s lives, so what’s more important than that?’
“If you are a player and you are not vaccinated and you miss a week or two, it could literally change the whole season, and we are trying to win a championship!”
Kanter and a teammate also shared that several Celtics players are not vaccinated. The NBA has been hesitant to approach its brightest stars in an effort to entice them to promote the vaccine. The league is afraid to put pressure on the faces of the NBA, but again, Abdul – Jabbar didn’t hold back.
“They are not up to the responsibilities that celebrity brings,” Abdul-Jabbar said. Rolling Stone in an email. “Athletes are not required to be government spokespersons, but this is a public health issue.”
Irving, fellow Nets stars Kevin Durant and James Harden are expected to speak Monday on a league-mandated preseason press day. The same one Irving omitted last year because, he wrote on Instagram, the media are “pawns.”
Additionally, Irving took a trip to South Dakota in August on a surprise visit to a schoolyard on a Sioux reservation where he planned to take selfies and sign children there. But at the school where all students over the age of 12 were required to wear a mask, Irving did not, according to Rolling Stone.
“Almost everyone had a mask,” said the mother of one student who attended. Rolling Stone. “Everyone except Kyrie, wherever he went.”
The superintendent insisted that the masks remain on, but on the schools’ Facebook page, images can be seen retouched in an attempt to make it appear that Irving and several students were wearing their masks.
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Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.