Sports insider Shamas Charania delivered terrible news to NBA players and fans eager to see their favorite athlete in upcoming games this season. With cases of COVID-19 continuing to rise, officials across the nation have been trying several strategies to boost citizens’ participation in getting the shot to lower the spread of the deadly virus and reduce the hospitalization rate, which also is ballooning. Restrictions already have been set in place from one city to another where proof of vaccination and/or a negative COVID-19 test is required to enter a place of business.
It now appears the National Basketball Association has done something similar. In a Twitter post upload on Wednesday, Sept. 1, Charania revealed that according to unidentified sources, moving forward, “Unvaccinated NBA players in markets with local requirements—such as NYC Knicks, Nets) and SF (Warriors) — will not be allowed to enter home arenas or facilities for games or team activities conducted there unless there’s approved medical or religious exemption.”
The Nets, Knicks and Warriors players would not be permitted to play in home games at the Barclays Center, Madison Square Garden, and the Chase Center without an approved medical or religious exemption. However, visiting players would be exempt from the vaccination requirements in New York City or San Francisco — why is still not clear. The league confirmed that those laws do indeed apply to players.
A number of fans opposed the new regulation, with many citing unproven violations of civil rights and religious beliefs. However, others commended the sports organization for treating the pandemic with a sense of urgency. “So in other words, every player on these teams should be vaccinated,” wrote an online user. “I applaud the NBA and NFL for taking the virus seriously.”
“Lol just wait till they realize they have to be fully vaxxed just to cross the border to play the Raps – wonder who will be the first player left behind on the cross border trip,” wrote another.
It’s unclear if these new rules will affect any players on the three teams. However, the NBA does not have a vaccine mandate for players, although it’s been reported that nearly 90 percent of athletes have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
In August, the Nets announced that staff and fans 12 years old and older entering the Barclays Center would now have to show proof of vaccination. The policy came on the heels of a New York City mandate requiring proof of vaccination for most public indoor gatherings. The Warriors have a similar approach, while the Knicks haven’t announced any new regulation. However, the Knicks required vaccination proof to attend last season’s home games in the team’s playoff series against the Atlanta Hawks.