The NBA released the draft health protocol for next season to its teams on Tuesday, detailing how players who have not been vaccinated will have to undergo diagnostic tests more often than their inoculated colleagues and deal with other restrictions.
Among the rules that the unvaccinated will have to comply with: they will not be able to eat in the same room as a vaccinated colleague or technician, their lockers must be assigned as far as possible from the vaccinated, always be with a mask and almost two meters away (six feet) of everyone present at a collective meeting.
In addition, unvaccinated players “will have to remain in their residences when they are in their city.” They will also have to stay at team hotels when on tour. In both cases, there will be a few exceptions, such as going to the supermarket, taking the children to school and other similar activities.
The teams received a draft of the protocols, which were obtained by The Associated Press.
It is warned that the unvaccinated will not be able to visit “high risk places”, such as restaurants, bars, clubs, entertainment venues and outdoor spaces of massive attendance.
Players who have received both vaccinations will not have to undergo testing, with a few exceptions. That group – which includes 90% of the NBA – will be able to resume normal activities without major restrictions. Those not vaccinated will have to undergo rapid tests on training days, trips and other group activities, in addition to complying with laboratory tests on match days.
“Mandatory vaccination for players is something that will require an agreement with the players’ union,” league spokesman Mike Bass said. “The NBA has presented this proposal, but the union has rejected any order that requires vaccination.”
The union responded by highlighting that those vaccinated reach 90%, a percentage that exceeds the figures in the United States. “The issue should not be that the vaccine is not mandatory in the NBA. The issue for those who advocate for vaccination is how to emulate NBA players, “said Guild Director Michele Roberts.
Some league stars, like Bradley Beal (Washington) and Andrew Wiggins (Golden State) have not been vaccinated. Devin Booker (Phoenix) missed the start of training after testing positive, something he revealed over the weekend without mentioning whether he is vaccinated.
Others, like Kyrie Irving (Brooklyn) – one of the union’s vice presidents – have also refused to reveal their vaccinated status. The absence of a face-to-face appearance on the Nets’ press day on Monday implied that the point guard has not been vaccinated.
Irving participated in practice for the Nets on Tuesday in San Diego, where they will have their preseason.
The situation for Wiggins and Irving is particularly complicated due to local regulations in San Francisco and New York that require them to be vaccinated or receive an exception. Wiggins tried unsuccessfully to receive one to be able to play the home games that make up half of the calendar. Irving will earn approximately $ 35 million this season, while Wiggins will earn nearly $ 32 million.
“Any player who decides not to abide by local mandatory vaccination orders will not be able to collect salary for the games he misses,” Bass warned Wednesday.
Lakers star LeBron James said he doesn’t want to tell people what to do about vaccines. But James – with more than 50 million followers on Twitter and nearly 100 million on Instagram – revealed Tuesday that he has been vaccinated and that he did so for the health of his family.
“I think everyone has to make their own decision and do what they think is right for themselves and their family and things like that,” James said. that it was not only the best for me, but for my family and my friends. That’s why I decided to do it (get vaccinated) “.