NBA players not vaccinated against the coronavirus will lose part of their salaries if they cannot play a game for violating local health protocols. The NBA spokesperson, Mike Bass, confirmed that they will not be paid if they miss a match for that reason, as vaccination status remains a thorny issue for some of the league’s high-profile stars.
Major cities like New York and San Francisco have laws restricting unvaccinated people from sports stadiums, restaurants, and other public spaces. That means players like Kyrie irving of the Brooklyn Nets and Andrew Wiggins of the Golden State Warriors are facing the inability to play home games and losing a significant portion of their salary. Both Irving and Wiggins have salaries of more than $ 30 million (€ 34.79 million) this season.
“Any player who chooses not to comply with local immunization mandates will not receive any payment for the games he misses,” said Mike Bass.
Anti-vaccine players, a figure that the league places around 10% -15%, are monopolizing the debate fueled or sustaining some of the conspiracy theories that run through the networks. Among them are some stars like Irving, who serves as vice president of the Players Union.
Wiggins, Canadian forward for the Warriors, had asked the league for an exemption against the vaccine for religious reasons that the NBA has rejected. “I’m going to keep all of this private. It is a personal matter and although my back is against the wall, I will continue to fight for what I believe in. ” Bradley Beal, star of the Wizards of Washington, he went even further in his comments when asked about the situation that has been created. “I would like an explanation of why people who have received the vaccine continue to get COVID when that is supposed to be very high protection?
And the theses of the deniers have also been added to the Orlando Magic player, Jonathan Isaac, who considers himself very religious and proud to be anti-vaccination. “In the end, those who develop the vaccines are people and you cannot completely trust people.” Devin Booker, the star of the Phoenix suns, who last week tested positive for covid and has not been able to start the training campus, has also refused to clarify whether he is among those vaccinated or not.
The confrontation is open and some reference voices in the League, such as the legendary Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, they value the need for these players to be left out of the competition so as not to endanger their teammates.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.