Unvaccinated NBA Players Who Do Not 'Comply with Local Vaccination Mandates' Will Not Be Paid for Games

Players from the Brooklyn Nets and Golden State Warriors won't be able to play in home games without being vaccinated

Photo: Sam Wasson/Getty

Unvaccinated players in the NBA could face another challenge this season.

On Wednesday, Mike Bass, the NBA's executive vice president of communications, issued a statement about how players without the COVID-19 vaccine will not be paid for the games they are forced to miss due to their vaccination status. Recently, New York and San Francisco mandated that people must be vaccinated to be allowed at indoor entertainment venues. (Visiting players from different states are exempt from New York and San Francisco's executive orders.)

"Any player who elects not to comply with local vaccination mandates will not be paid for games that he misses," Bass said in a statement, according to ESPN and Sports Illustrated.

Currently, there is no mandate requiring NBA players to be fully vaccinated from COVID-19. The National Basketball Players Association, the league's players union, previously pushed back against the requirement for all players to get vaccinated.

Health regulations in the New York and San Francisco areas require athletes to be vaccinated to play in home games. In New York's Barclays Center one COVID-19 vaccine shot is required while San Francisco's new Chase Center requires a guest to be fully vaccinated.

The affected NBA teams are the Brooklyn Nets and Golden State Warriors.

The New York Knicks announced this month that the organization's entire roster, including players, coaches and staff, has been vaccinated.

This week, Nets star Kyrie Irving did not comment on his vaccination status, instead telling reporters during his virtual media day that he "would like to keep all that private." Irving is one of the biggest names in the league to reportedly express his skepticism about the COVID vaccine.

Last week, Warriors forward Andrew Wiggins had his request for a religious exemption from the COVID vaccine denied by the NBA. Speaking about how he feels his "back is definitely against the wall," Wiggins said during his media day press conference: "I'm going to keep fighting for what I believe … What's right to one person isn't right to another, vice versa. … It's none of your business."

More than 90 percent of the players in the NBA are fully vaccinated so far.

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