The NBA is upping its pressure on the 'vaccine hesitant' and resistors in the league, unveiling a new policy Wednesday of withholding pay for any unvaccinated players who miss games due to local mandates.
"Any player who elects not to comply with local vaccination mandates will not be paid for games that he misses," NBA spokesman Mike Bass said in new Wednesday statements. It comes after New York and San Francisco passed vax mandate executive orders, bringing into question whether unvaccinated players for the Brooklyn Nets and Golden State Warriors can still play.
Specifically the venues for games are requiring proof of the Covid-19 shot in order to enter the arena. This impacts players entering Barclays Center in Brooklyn and San Francisco's Chase Center.
The season is set to start on Oct.19 and the announcement is part of a series of pandemic protocol measures unveiled by the league, which mostly focus on social distancing in locker rooms - which will be spaced out - and masking up during team meetings.
Additionally, while vaccinated players will have to submit to only one Covid test per week, unvaccinated players will have to undergo tests more frequently.
According to The Hill, about 90% of league players are now vaccinated, with notable exceptions:
...but a number of the league’s top players have declined to get their shots, including Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal and Golden State Warriors forward Andrew Wiggins, who applied for a religious exemption which was ultimately denied by the league.
The report concludes, "That decision could be particularly problematic — and now costly — for players like Wiggins, who play home games in cities that require vaccines at large indoor events."
Just days ago Orlando Magic star player Jonathan Isaac mounted an incredibly cogent and succinct defense pushing back against the pressure and smear campaign targeting the 'vaccine hesitant'. The clip of the remarks quickly went viral...
Jonathan Isaac shares his full thoughts on vaccinations and addresses the Rolling Stone article.— Beyond the RK (@beyondtheRK) September 27, 2021
"I'm not anti-vax. I'm not anti-medicine. I'm not anti-science. I didn't come to my current vaccination status by studying black history or watching Donald Trump press conferences." pic.twitter.com/EvT4KwGJwx
Controversially, the National Basketball Players Association successfully thwarted plans by the NBA to impose a blanket vaccine mandate over all players, calling it a "non-starter".
Absurdly, media outlets like CNN are actually going after players who are merely "withholding vaccination status" amid a general smear campaign which some prominent athletes have begun pushing back against.